IT Digest: Windows Blue, How Browsers Work, Future and Watches, WebRTC and Much More!

March 29, 2013

What is the freshest news from the world of informational technologies? Find out in our weekly digest from the 29th of March.

 

Top Seven News

Hackers do not sleep.

Spamhaus has faced the largest in the history of the Internet DDoS-attack and the details of the attack described in the CloudFlare company blog.

Windows Blue dribs and drabs.

Microsoft has already acknowledged Windows Blue promising to release the official preview at annual Build conference in June 2013. Meanwhile some experts are anxious that Windows Blue can lead to complete failure of desktop in the nearest future. A few clues about Windows Blue innovative functions. Internet Explorer 11, integrated in Windows Blue is also worth to be mentioned: IE11 leaked screenshots and IE 11 is changing its User-Agent string. Those who have forgotten the history of User-Agent string evolution can revise it here.

The work of Israeli web programmer Garsiel Tali “How browsers work” was written  several years ago and still hasn't lost its relevancy. It's known all around the globe and has brought its author a great number of fans in IT sphere.

YouTube for techies, geeks and developers.

We suggest you to find out more about YouTube channel by Treehouse where you can find various modern video technologies. Also here are some more interesting sets: Top 9 YouTube videos of the week and YouTube Geeks channels.

The future and the watches.
Design for high-resolution screens.

How do you prepare your website for using it on devices with Retina and other high resolution screens? The following posts will give you an answer: Finally a more general but no less interesting post: How to use images successfully – web design usability guide.

WebRTC: power of new browser APIs.

Mozilla is unlocking the power of the web as a platform for gaming, 3D WebRTC: 3D visual communication in a browser and PeerCDN, a new kind of CDN + video.

News:

  1. Microsoft acknowledges Windows Blue and plans to release its public preview at Build conference in June 2013 — at last Microsoft has admitted the existence of Windows Blue update for Windows 8. The first rumors about Windows Blue, next-generation desktop operating system by Microsoft, appeared a few months ago when its name had been occasionally mentioned in one of the official interviews. According to the latest report from Tom Warren, the Verge, Microsoft is going to release an initial public preview of Windows Blue at its annual Build developer conference in June 2013. While Extreme Tech states that Windows Blue leads to complete failure of desktop in the nearest future.
  2. Dreams come true: Google Translate for Android adds offline support for 50 languages — previous versions of the Google Translate app for Android required your smartphone to be connected to the internet with all translations done through the online servers. The latest update solves one of the main issues: the use of the app offline. There are offline language packages for 50 different languages, from French and Spanish to Chinese and Arabic, able to be downloaded and used for translation even when the smartphone appears to be in air mode.
  3. Windows Phone outsells iOS in 7 and BlackBerry OS in 26 markets — according to Frank X. Shaw, corporate vice president of Corporate Communications at Microsoft, the company's Windows Phone  has shipped more than iPhone in seven markets of the world and more than BlackBerry in twenty six markets in the previous quarter. Shaw also stated that there would be more information concerning Windows Phone progress, as well as innovative features Microsoft develops for the platform at the annual Build developer conference, on 26-28 June 2013.
  4. Hacker attack caused global Internet slowdown — on 27 March, 2013 Internet traffic around the world has suffered a slowdown because of the powerful cyber-attack. After spam-fighting group SpamHaus and its hosting provider were attacked by a web filtering company they had blacklisted before. Now there is a grave risk that the attack can negatively affect international banking and email systems in spite of the fact that five national cyber-police-forces are investigating these unprecedented attacks + Worldwide Web Attack video by CBC News.

The Future and the Watches:

  1. Nokia Smart Watch is coming with Windows Phone 8 OS — the first smart watch concept by Nokia represents a square shape wearable smartphone with a front-facing camera equipped with touch screen adopting Windows Phone 8 system. The device is also equipped with pressure sensor, compass, altimeter and heat meter, supporting 4G LTE network and can synchronize data with Lumia mobile phone when connected. But is there any more room in the market for Nokia smart watch after Apple and Samsung?
  2. Firefox OS smartwatch to be launched in 2013 Q2 — Gouke, a Chinese hardware company under Shanda, intends to make two versions of its Bambook Smart Watch available in June 2013. One of the two smartwatch versions priced above 100$ is running the newly released Firefox OS.
  3. Android watchmaker sues Google — Oko International, the maker of a wide range of watches and timepieces sold under the brand name Android since 1994 is suing Google for trademark infringement just after it was rumored that Google is getting into the smartwatch game. According to Oko chief designer and CEO Wing Liang it doesn't matter for Oko officials how big the company they sue is as Oko International didn't give Google any right to use their brand name.
  4. Is this Plastic Logic prototype a real clue to what the Apple iWatch looks like? — British maker of high quality flexible plastic displays Plastic Logic has introduced an interesting prototype recently. It is rumored that the prototype of a watch can be nothing more than iWatch by famous Apple. The prototype is equipped with a low-power E-Ink screen. According to Plastic Logic officials a user can integrate Bluetooth into the device and connect it to a mobile phone so the smart watch defaults to safe mode and can run for a week without recharging.

Other News:

  1. CeBIT-2013 results: Ukrainian IT companies are to be partners but not competitors at the international IT market — according to Ruslan Olkhovsky, the managing partner of Softengi company, Ukrainian IT outsourcing companies don't take seriously the necessity to promote their services at the international IT market. Participation in similar to CeBIT events should be used as an excellent opportunity to introduce their services as Ukrainian IT society appears to be one of the most prominent and professional not only in Europe and Asia but all around the globe, providing international IT companies with high-quality outsourcing services and skilful IT specialists annually.
  2. Full Value of Mobile Resources allows its users to estimate Mobiles' Value in multi-screen World — to help marketers better understand mobile attribution to business, Google is launching the Full Value of Mobile tool. The new tool is now available to all advertisers of Google Mobile allowing them to account the new mobile paths to purchase in AdWords, like the recent addition of calls as conversions to AdWords reporting.
  3. Ludei is introducing tools to create 3D HTML5 games to any existing mobile devices —Breakthrough news has come from Ludei. 3D support has arrived to the Ludei platform, allowing your 3D HTML5 games to be delivered to virtually any mobile device. For the first time ever, WebGL rendering is available for iOS and Android devices.
  4. LinkedIn smarter search promises better results — according to Johnathan Podemsky LinkedIn product manager, the company began updating its search engine with new features that provide faster and more unified results on Monday. Being used for 5.7 billion times in 2012 LinkedIn has been updated for the first time after a long break period. So the search should become now smarter and more streamlined as there is no necessity to search for people, companies or jobs separately.
  5. Samsung Display is not included in the number of Apple suppliers anymore — it seems that Apple is not going to use Southern Korean displays for their tablets in 2013 anymore as no request for quotation has been sent to Samsung yet, according to sources in Korean media. Instead, LG Display, Sharp, Japan Display and AU Optronics are rumored to replace Samsung in providing Apple with the mini panel deliveries.
  6. iOS is recognized as the most unsafe operating system — one more iOS security threat has been found recently: it allows unauthorized users to gain access to Apple user-accounts among those which are not still upgraded to the new two-step verification where a verification code, entered by users, is always sent to a device before changing any personal information. The bug allows anyone to reset an Apple account password using only an email address and date of birth accessing Apple's own iForgot password support page through a modified URL.
  7. Apple is now the 8th among the most popular websites — according to the ComScore recent research Apple has moved from the 11th most popular website in the world to the 8th position with 115 million unique visitors on its website in February 2013. In comparison to Google with 236 million unique visitors in the same period, iPhone maker is still far behind one of its main competitors.
  8. Twitter archive is now available in Russian and 11 more languages — Twitter has just announced that their archive now gets support of Russian and 11 more languages including Danish, Filipino, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Swedish, Thai, Turkish and Urdu. Now those who were using Twitter service in those languages can access and download a complete archive of every tweet they ever sent. In Twitter archive one can view their Tweets by month or search for necessary Tweets with keywords, phrases, hashtags or @usernames.
  9. Ukrainian developers are wanted by PayPal to work in Germany — according to Alexandra Ustinova, a PR manager at Magento, the online money transaction international company, PayPal proclaimed its intentions to recruit Ukrainian PHP and Java developers to work on a start-up project in their office in Berlin, Germany.
  10. Windows store unofficially hits the 50,000 app mark — on 23 March, 2013 MetroStore Scanner (MSS), one of the main unofficial trackers, indicated that the Windows Store had passed the 50,000 application mark and if to be precise stands at 50,380 apps in the US store. The number achieved by Microsoft can serve as a key metric to measure the interest of developers in windows 8 as well as the health state of the OS in the whole. Note that Apple Mac App Store currently holds 14,000 apps only, taking into account the fact that the store was launched more than 2 years ago.

Browsers:

  1. Web-browser Chrome 26 is released by Google — the innovative web-browser is available for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows platforms. The browser includes such cutting edge features and tools as built-in Flash and PDF, system of notifications if an error occurs, automatic updates, grammar and spell checking and many others. Among other improvements we can note asynchronous DNS resolver on Mac and Linux, as well as adding desktop shortcuts to make it easy for several users to browse the web on a single computer, as they don't have to open Chrome browser and then switch between accounts manually.
  2. How browsers work — an awesome work of Israeli web programmer Garsiel Tali on the way browsers work. For a few years the author was tracking all the information concerning browsers interface, studying source code of WebKit and Gecko, and finally put all the pieces together.
  3. Mozilla developers can reduce the user settings in Firefox soon — Alex Limi, a founder of Plone, a content management system, argues that some browser settings appear to be irrelevant and used by less than 1% of users. As a result, the author of the post suggests cleaning configuration options available in UI, reducing their number (the initiative will have no impact on about:config). According to Limi, many of existing options are inappropriate, excessive and even harmful.
  4. Mozilla brought Unreal Engine 3 and P2P-Games technology to the Web — Mozilla in partnership with Epic Games made porting of Unreal Engine 3 to run it in the browser as a separate web-application. As with the Unigine engine ports and BananaBread 3D game on Sauerbraten which were presented earlier, the work of Unreal  in browser is based on the use of Emscripten compiler that converts C/C ++ programming code into JavaScript. WebGL is used to display 3D graphics.
  5. Opera's WebKit patches — a set of official patches submitted by Opera to improve any WebKit-based browser for better CSS support.
  6. More and more secretive Windows Blue features become known to public — Windows Blue doesn't promise to be a completely new OS but rather to enhance service pack to Windows 8 packed with additional features and useful changes with some of them described in detail in this fresh post.
  7. IE11 leaked screenshot gallery — together with an early build of Windows Blue including a new build of Internet Explorer 11 leaked on the Internet, the first IE 11 screenshots appeared providing users with lots of new details and several new features that seem to be introduced in this major Windows 8 refresh.
  8. IE 11 is changing its UA string — being a part of the Windows Blue update package, new IE 11 by Microsoft sets a new user agent (UA) string just as “IE” instead of “MSIE” as it was before. Actually, custom CSS codes designed for previous versions of IE browsers better known as CSS hacks no longer works with the new browser. To improve the situation Microsoft added Like Gecko, a new command developed to instruct websites on how to deliver contents designed for other web browser (Firefox) to be implemented in IE11 + History of the user-agent string.

Amazing Websites' Design:

  1. chevalblanc.com/randheli/en — a full screen website-touch slider.
  2. journey.lifeofpimovie.com — a one-page web story on making "The Life of Pi" movie with lots of scrolling effects.
  3. andrevv.com — a website with custom implementation of animation.

Design It:

  1. Tinytype — a compatibility table showing the available default system fonts across different mobile platforms.
  2. Common misconceptions about touch.
  3. Navigation for mega-sites.
  4. Designing for hi-res displays.
  5. How to use images successfully — web design usability guide.
  6. Branding identity design inspiration.
  7. Drawscript — an extension for Illustrator to generate graphics code from vector shapes in realtime.
  8. A few words about white space.

A Bunch of Design Freebies:

  1. 65 free and high quality texture packs + texture grab bag.
  2. Spoon — a simple and elegant wireframe kit.
  3. 12 High Quality Free PSD Files – Dribbble Community #1
  4. 150+ epic free Photoshop brushes + 12 free high res dry brush stroke Photoshop brushes + a collection of free floral brushes for Photoshop.
  5. A collection of beautifully designed free fonts from Titan One to Sansita One.

Services:

  1. Vexel — redraw any image with pure CSS!
  2. placeimg — another online generator of placeholder images.
  3. CSS matic — the ultimate CSS tools for web designers.

Demo:

  1. Tear-able cloth.
  2. Visualization of unmanned fighters attacks to Pakistan.
  3. 3D WebRTC: 3D visual communication in a browser.
  4. Flat surface shader — 2D!
  5. Dart Multi Touch Canvas + realtime API.

Development:

  1. Responsive web design by Ethan Marcotte.
  2. Canvas in GIF on JavaScript.
  3. PeerCDN, a new kind of CDN + video.
  4. Mobile phone fonts.
  5. Treehouse on YouTube — teaching technology to the world.
  6. Goodbye, Zen Coding. Hello, Emmet!
  7. Recording of PhpStorm 6 webinar — more tools to develop smarter, not harder.
  8. Building Windows store applications with jQuery 2.0
  9. Mozilla HTML5 slide system screencast.
  10. Sassaparilla — a fast way to start your responsive web design projects that harnesses the power of Sass and Compass.
  11. Twitter developer tools – customized widget tutorial.
  12. Best WordPress theme frameworks.
  13. DevTools extensions for web app developers.
  14. Profiling mobile HTML5 apps with Chrome DevTools.
  15. BlackBerry 10: the first class HTML5 mobile platform.
  16. How to deal with bad code.
  17. Letting users disable responsive layout.
  18. WebRTC data channels for great multiplayer.

CSS:

  1. Easily center text vertically with SVG.
  2. Preview border-corner-shape, before implementations! + border-corner-shape is in danger, and you can help! by Lea Verou.
  3. Popular CSS libraries.
  4. Media Query snippets.
  5. Introduction to Custom Filters (aka CSS Shaders).
  6. Quick tip: use HTML comments to indicate Pseudo-elements.
  7. Printing the web.
  8. Cascade Framework — putting back the C in CSS.
  9. Icon Stacks — combining icon font glyphs to create complex mega-icons.
  10. Create adaptive SVG illustrations with CSS.
  11. The CSS3 placeholder pseudo-element + Hang on placeholders.
  12. 24 CSS3 tutorials for advanced user interface effects.
  13. There's more to the CSS rem unit than font sizing.
  14. What's the CSS :scope pseudo-class for?
  15. CSS3 transitions and Z-Index + Z-Index transition in response by Chris Coyeir.
  16. 5 things I learned designing for high-resolution Retina displays.
  17. A guide for creating a better retina web.
  18. CSS-Shack allows you to create Layers Styles  and export them into a single CSS file, or copy them to the clipboard.
  19. CSS – if you understand what I'm talking about.

JavaScripts:

  1. Interview with the jQuery lead developer Dave Methvin.
  2. iCheck — a plug-in for cross-browser and cross-platform customization of checkboxes and radio buttons.
  3. fool.js — a jQuery plug-in that lets you play one or more fun practical jokes on an unsuspecting visitor.
  4. bespoke.js — DIY presentation micro-framework.
  5. Get Element Attributes with JavaScript.
  6. jtwt.js — a simple jQuery plugin for the twitter JSON API.
  7. swipebox — a touchable jQuery lightbox.
  8. query.panzoom — a progressive jQuery plug-in for panning and zooming elements using CSS3.
  9. Cross-Browser, Event-based, Element Resize Detection.
  10. Getting started with AngularJS.
  11. JavaScript: the less known parts. Bitwise Operators.
  12. 10 amazing JavaScript demos using 1k or less.

Fun & Entertainment:

    1. Russian social net VKontakte manipulated web content at presidential administration's orders.
    2. Samsung Galaxy S4 review.
    3. Top 9 YouTube videos of the week.
    4. The 11 phases of a web developer's career (as illustrated by Memes).
    5. Smartphones now seen as "equal" to consoles as preferred gaming platform.
    6. 3D-printed skull implant ready for operation.
    7. Apple drops “highest resolution” claim, because of the Pixel.
    8. Google's Chrome Super Sync Sports turns your smartphone's browser into a game console.
    9. RPG inside an Excel workbook.
    10. 7 years later, another look at Twitter.
    11. Sony joins iWear face-off.
    12. HP develops next-gen 3D mobile display, no glasses required.
    13. The Internet 'Narcissism Epidemic'.
  1. The size of the indexed world wide web.

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