Read about a CDN for AJAX library delivery, Google can ignore URL parameters, Oracle's release of Berkeley DB 4.8, open source development, and more.
uTest finds more than 600 bugs in major search engines
uTest held a Bug Battle to find bugs in Google, Google Caffeine, Bing, and Yahoo! and found more than 600 in the search engines. Bing led the pack in bugs, with Yahoo coming in last. On the flip side, Bing was highly usable for specialized search. What I find interesting is that each engine had roughly the same breakdown of percentage of bugs in each functional area.
PHP 5.2.11 released
PHP 5.2.11 has been released. It contains more than 75 bug fixes, a few of which are security items. PHP 5.2 users should upgrade.
Mono for iPhone available
The Mono Project has released MonoTouch, a version of Mono for the iPhone. It is a commercial, paid product, which is a change of pace for the Mono team.
Microsoft offers a free CDN for AJAX library delivery
Microsoft has put together a content delivery network (CDN) just for common AJAX libraries. This is completely free for all, and there's no registration needed, no gotchas, nothing. Because the client PCs will see the requests to the CDN and not your site, it is possible that they already cached the data from the CDN before your page required it, providing even more of a speed boost.
Google can now ignore URL parameters
In a move that is sure to delight Webmasters and Web developers, Google Webmaster Tools now allows you to set up to 15 parameters for its crawler to ignore. This is great news for sites that could potentially show duplicate content to the search engine based on the URL parameters.
Microsoft releases an AI kit for... Civilization IV?
This one is for pure geeks only: Microsoft has released a reinforcement-learning infrastructure library for the Civilization IV SDK. This allows you to test various AI strategies within the Civ IV engine. Very cool. It makes me wish I had the free time to experiment with this!
Interesting discussion on performance and clouds
Java Champion Kirk Pepperdine is interviewed at the Java Web site, with a good discussion about cloud computing and performance. He has some really interesting points which are pertinent to developers regardless of their language of choice; I highly recommend that you take a few minutes to read it.
Windows Mobile 7 AWOL from PDC?
In a move sure to cause further speculation about delays of Windows Mobile 7, PDC 2009 will not have any sessions about Windows Mobile 7. Windows Mobile 7's development is starting to feel an awful lot like "Longhorn," which eventually became Vista.
Oracle releases Berkeley DB 4.8
Version 4.8 of Berkeley DB, an embeddable database engine, has been released. (For whatever reason, I didn't realize that Oracle controlled this project.) It now has foreign keys and C#/.NET support, which positions it as a viable replacement to SQL Server Express.
Artifact Software becomes Workspace Software
Artifact Software (makers of Lighthouse) has changed its name to Workspace Software and moved to the workspace.com domain.
Safari worst for your battery, IE 8 best
New tests show that Safari 4 drains a laptop battery faster than any other browser on the market, with IE 8 being the least draining to your battery pack.
"Free software" does not always mean "no money"
ZDNet blogger Dana Blankenhorn has written an interesting post about the relationship between open source and money. He says that some open source companies have been considered valuable enough by other companies to justify a big ticket acquisition. However, he doesn't address the profitability of those companies and projects. The article seems to reinforce the idea that the people who own open source companies are profiting on the backs of the community.
Getting paid for open source coding
It's nice to see a paper validating what I've been saying for a while: The folks working on open source are getting paid to do it. The popular image of open source projects is that it is a bunch of folks slaving away over a hot keyboard all night or weekend long out of their idealistic love for a project. While this may be true of many smaller projects, it simply is not true for the bigger ones. This is not to say that there is no community or that the people doing it do not love it; but for the big projects, most contributors who show a real talent and passion for the work tend to get picked up by a company and paid to do what they were previously doing for free. To put it another way, giving your work away for free is a good way to get a job.
XNA Game Studio works for the Zune HD now
ASP.NET 4 to have "auto start"
In a welcome move, ASP.NET 4 will have "auto start" functionality. This means that the first hit to an ASP.NET Web application will no longer take forever, or force developers and system administrators to concoct systems to act like the initial visitor.
J.JaDisclosure of Justin's industry affiliations: Justin James has a contract with Spiceworks to write product buying guides. He is also under contract to OpenAmplify, which is owned by Hapax, to write a series of blogs, tutorials, and other articles.
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