All the geeks among us who inhabit the programming subculture must admit to writing code that they'd be ashamed to show to Mom. In order to stay on Mom's (and your boss') good side, as well as add elegance to your work, pick up Dustin Boswell and Trever Foucher's essential new programming book The Art of Readable Code. The book, says publisher O'Reilly Media, “focuses on the nuts and bolts of programming, with simple and practical techniques you can use every time you sit down to write code.” Included are numerous practical tips, easy-to-digest code examples, helpful illustrations and cartoons to keep things entertaining. Other topics including picking variable names that are dense with information, organizing easy-to-understand loops and conditionals, creating effective comments, writing concise but thorough tests and mastering the art of breaking hard problems into smaller ones.
The hot selling point for Radical Breeze's Illumination Software Creator, which was recently upgraded to version 4.1, is creating software without writing a single line of code. Illumination converts visual concepts into source code for the user; no virtual machine is involved. The developed applications run natively on desktops, iPhones, iPads, Android devices, Nokia (Maemo) Internet Tablets and HTML5 and Flash Web. And, now with v4.1 for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, you can do that in a more expansive and bug-free manner. Although the recent version 4.0 added ability to create HTML5 Web applications along with an easier method of adding graphics to apps, the newer v4.1 now adds a “boat-load” of bug fixes, implements and other user-requested changes. Radical Breeze calls Illumination Software 4.1 “the most solid, bug-free release we have ever had. It is absolutely glorious”. Who knew that programming could be so fun?
Seemingly simple bugs, says author Tobias Klein, can have drastic consequences, allowing attackers to compromise systems, escalate local privileges and otherwise wreak havoc on a system. In Klein's new book, A Bug Hunter's Diary: A Guided Tour Through the Wilds of Software Security, readers will learn how to weed out bugs by following the tracks of a renowned security expert as he exploits bugs in some of the world's most popular software, like Apple's iOS, the VLC media player, Web browsers and even the Mac OS X (ahem, non-Linux) kernel. In this “one-of-a-kind account”, readers see how the developers responsible for these flaws patched the bugs—or failed to respond at all—gaining deep technical knowledge and insight into how hackers approach difficult problems and experience the true joys (and frustrations) of bug hunting. Readers will learn techniques on finding bugs, exploiting vulnerabilities like NULL pointer dereferences, buffer overflows and type conversion flaws, and developing proof-of-concept code that verifies the security flaw and reports bugs to vendors.
The hardware maker Logic Supply specializes in systems for industrial and embedded applications, such as its new Neousys NUVO-1003B and NUVO-1005B Fanless Systems. The HPC NUVO systems feature Intel's Core i5/i7 Mobile CPUs and HD graphics, and are housed in a durable, sleek chassis and feature an operating-temperature range of –25°C to 70°C. Targeted at machine vision, surveillance, medical imaging and networking applications, the devices come with the option for three or five Intel Gigabit Ethernet ports. I/O capabilities include one RS-232/422/485 port, three RS-232 ports, PS2 mouse and keyboard input, six USB 2.0 ports, VGA and DVI/HDMI video output, which combine to ensure ease of integration with legacy systems and next-generation applications alike, says Logic Supply.
Give your identity-management woes a slick Jujitsu move with BeyondTrust's PowerBroker Identity Services Enterprise Edition v6.1, a solution that allows for seamless integration of Linux, UNIX and Mac OS X with Microsoft Active Directory. New features in PowerBroker 6.1 include single sign-on, reporting improvements, single rpm/deb/pkg for installation, lwconfig tool for easy management of configuration changes and improved support for Mac .local domain names and network shares. With these enhancements, PowerBroker customers now can use free, open-source application integrations for enterprise applications, such as Apache Tomcat, IBM WebSphere, Oracle WebLogic and JBoss Application Server. In addition, these updates offer the Open Source community the opportunity to provide feedback and bug fixes, as well as any other contributions to improve and accelerate the development of the open-source tools.
We're always thrilled to announce major upgrades from the pantheon of killer Linux apps, and this month's star is the recently announced Asterisk 10. Asterisk is the most popular open-source platform to allow developers to create powerful business phone systems and unified communications solutions. Digium reports more than two million downloads in 2011 alone. In v10, Caretaker Digium and the dedicated crew of contributors have put forth a significant release whose most important new feature is its advanced, wide-band media engine, which supports studio-quality audio and a nearly unlimited number of codecs. By supporting high- and ultra-high-definition voice, says Digium, Asterisk now can be used to power communications applications that otherwise would have required specialized or expensive equipment and service in order to convey nuances in speech or emotion. New codec support is included for Digium Skype's SILK codec and 32kHz Speex, as well as passthrough support for CELT. Other features include additional sampling rates, a new conferencing app, support for videoconferencing, new fax capabilities and text-message routing.
The latest offering from Halcyon Software—whose name appropriately means calm and carefree—is a new release of Audit Journal Manager, a specialist utility for IBM i that enables real-time alerting and reporting from the audit journal and assists with intrusion detection. Audit Journal Manager enables companies to receive immediate notification on any attempted security breaches, monitor and report on access to confidential information, save time on labor-intensive reporting tasks and assist in migrating to a higher security level. Key enhancements include improved performance, the addition of new reporting templates and new “rule” sets for monitoring auditing failure, security, service and systems management.
This one is targeted at you MySQLers: Polaricon recently upgraded to v2.0 its Jet Profiler for MySQL—a real-time query-performance and diagnostics tool for DBAs and developers. Jet Profiler's core features include query, user and table statistics, graphical visualization, low overhead and ease of use. It is available for Linux, Mac and Windows. Via a graphical interface, users are able to browse through profiling information and zoom in on dedicated problem areas, such as spikes in load, allowing users to identify and fix performance problems quickly. Besides adding German and Swedish language support, version 2.0 now offers adjustable time frames for data retention and a Top IP feature for monitoring heavy DB users and allowing for more effective load balancing.