Sun Microsystems Announces a Shut-Down of Zembly

Zembly, a web-application to develop other Web 2.0 applications like Facebook Apps, Orkut Apps, RSS widgets and numerous other applications, will be shut down on 30th November, by Sun Microsystems.

The product, which aimed at social application development and was an amazing collaboration platform, never came out of beta. The application was totally browser based and needed a knowledge of JavaScript to create widgets and apps. The apps created by others could be used as a framework and other applications could be built upon the already existing ones. The management of source control and component sharing was left to Zembly, making development as the prime focus.

The letter from the Zembly team says:

We regret to inform you that on November 30th, 2009 we will be suspending this service.

More than three years ago, we started this project with the goal of making it easy to create next-generation Web apps. Our original tagline was “Build the web, using the web,” and the ideas we were incubating around platform-mediated Web applications, Web API mashups, and social programming were brand new.

We learned a lot along the way. Your confidence and enthusiasm helped us improve the project and do amazing things that we never imagined when we began this journey.

Thank you to everyone who’s been with us through the ups and downs. It’s heartening to see that many of the best ideas pioneered in zembly have started to appear elsewhere. With your support, we’re proud to have contributed to the DNA of the Web.

All the best,

— The zembly team

Sun Microsystems had a vision with the launch of Zembly which never delivered.  The project will shut down at the end of this month. Also, any application usingt the Zembly API or the Zembly client library will fail to work as desired, after 30th of November.  Developers are allowed to save all their code and project works in this time.

If you are interested in web-development and have not tried it yet, head over to zembly.com to give it a last try before it shuts down.

MontaVista acquired by Cavium Netowrks for 50 Million Dollars

Acquisition of Open Source software based companies seems to be the current trend.

Sun started it with the acquisition of MySQL AB.

Oracle continued it with Sun’s acquisition.

Intel followed suit, only this time to buy one of the top Embedded Linux companies, WindRiver. Actually, it has been done before. WindRiver acquired FSM Lab’s RTLinux, the hard real-time OS, that was giving WindRiver’s VxWorks a run for their money.

Today, Cavium Networks has announced that it has signed a “definitive agreement” to acquire MontaVista for $50 million, comprising $16 million in cash and the remaining $34 million in Cavium Networks common stock.

MontaVista , a Santa Clara, California based company was the leading developer of embedded Linux software and tools in the automotive, mobile phones   and communications equipments space. MontaVista was a regular contributor to open source software especially in the kernel and PowerPC ports. Arguably, one of the most valuable contributions made by MontaVista’s Robert Love is the real-time kernel preemption patch , rendering the vanilla kernel with soft real-time capabilities.

Cavium Networks makes media, network and security processors based on the ARM and MIPS architectures. It too is a Silicon Valley based company. Interestingly enough, Cavium Networks, which is a publicly owned company was founded a couple of years after MontaVista.

Cavium Networks’ cloning of Intel’s move validates the relationship between processor companies and their attraction towards embedded Linux software companies. Another similarity in these deals is that both WindRiver Systems as well MontaVista will continue as separate operating unit retaining it’s brand name.

Syed Ali, President and CEO of Cavium Networks says “This acquisition will complement Cavium’s market leading processor portfolio with world-class software expertise and will enable us to deliver highly compelling and differentiated solutions to the market”.

Rusty Harris, President and CEO of MontaVista has the following explanation to offer “By becoming part of Cavium Networks, MontaVista can confidently continue to offer industry leading commercial grade embedded Linux, support and services to our customers and partners“.

The move for acquisition seems to be good news for all parties involved since the CEOs of both ARM as well as MIPS Technologies also seemed to be positive about the deal.

Any bets on what AMD might go shopping for ?

Filezilla Updated: Now Connect to Multiple Servers in the Same Window

FileZilla, one of the most popular Ftp clients, has launched the latest version (3.3.0) which has some new features. These features were much desired and will surely be of great help for webmasters.

New Features in FileZilla 3.3.0

Tabbed browsing Support: Glad they have added this feature. The latest version of FileZilla has added tabbed browsing, so you can connect to multiple servers in the same window. The earlier versions required you to use two separate windows to login to two ftp accounts.

multiple-tabs-filezilla-window

This would be a real time saver, as you can now browse different directories of your website easily. On a new tab, you can connect to the same server or connect to a different server. The tabs acts just like browser tabs:

  • Double click in open tab area to open a new tab
  • Middle click closes the current tab.
  • Ctrl + T opens a new tab.

Bookmark important locations of your directories: Another much sought after improvement. You can bookmark an important location of your website so that you won’t have to manually navigate to the folder the next time you connect to the ftp server.

bookmark-locations-filezilla

The bookmarks are arranged under the Bookmarks option in the menu bar.

Upgrading from a previous version

The newer version will preserve user settings if you are upgrading from a previous version. Download the latest version of Filezilla.

Techie-Buzz Verdict

Lots of improvements in the newer version, but I would like to see Back upoptions added in the next release. The ability to back up and restore ftp settings is much needed.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

An Inspiring Collection of Custom Facebook Pages

If you are a business, you know how important it is to have a presence on social media like Facebook and Twitter. But you also know that with thousands of businesses of Facebook, it is hard to get noticed.

One way to stand out from the crowd is to have a custom designed Facebook page that speaks up to the user. You can tweak your Facebook page in almost unlimited number of ways and design it however you want. If you don’t know where to start, take my advice and check out CustomFacebookPage.com

It is a great collection of some really inspiring custom designed Facebook pages. You can browse it by category such as Media, Auto e.t.c. or search by brand name. You can also browse through the pages of top brands by filtering the brands that have more than 1 million fans.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

CustomFacebookPage is a great inspiration for people who are interested in having a customized Facebook page. The collection gives you plenty of ideas about different design elements including layout, color schemes, graphics, fonts e.t.c.

How To Reduce Aero Peek’s Delay Time

One of the many new features in Windows 7 is Aero Peek. Just hover the mouse pointer over the extreme right edge of your taskbar and Windows will reveal the desktop. To be honest, I don’t really like Aero Peek in fact I find it pretty much pointless. But, a lot of people seem to love it. If you indeed find Aero Peek beneficial, here is a small tip to make it more convenient.

In order to avoid accidental triggering, Aero Peek doesn’t get activated immediately. Instead you need to wait for about half a second. This delay is mostly unnecessary and can be annoying. Fortunately for us, it is quite easy to make Aero Peek trigger instantly.

  1. Type regedit in the Start Menu or the Run (Win + R) box. This will launch the Windows Registry Editor.
  2. Now browse to the following location:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

  3. Create a new DWORD (32-bit) value DesktopLivePreviewHoverTime from the Edit Menu.
  4. Aero-Peek-Create-DWORD

  5. Double click on this entry to edit its value. Set the base to Decimal and enter 0 as the value. You can actually enter any delay value you wish. Just remember that the unit of time used here is millisecond (1000ms=1s).
  6. Aero-Peek-Create-No-Delay

  7. That’s it. All you need to do now is logoff or restart to see the changes.

If you don’t want to go through all this trouble, you can also download this registry script. Simply double click on the script (.reg file) to apply the tweak.

Aero-Peek-Disable

Of course, if you don’t like Aero Peek and find it pointless, you should disable it entirely. Right click on an empty spot in the taskbar and select Properties. Uncheck the box next to Use Aero Peek to preview the desktop to disable Aero Peek.

based on Vishal Gupta’s Tweak

Google Introduces ‘Go': Open Source Programming Language

On Tuesday, Google launched ‘Go’, an Open Source programming language which combines Python and C++. The applications developed on this platform will be for multi-processor systems. The Go programming language combines the power of a compiled language like C++, with the robust and fast application of an interpreted language, like Python.

Google-Go
Google-Go

‘Go’ is another brainchild of Google’s 20% free time. Rob Pike, a principle engineer at Google and a Go developer says:

I’ve never felt as productive as I have working with Go.

The Go Project actually began in 2007 and the reason for the open-sourcing, as Pike says, is:

We’re opening sourcing it now because we think it’s reached the point of being fun and useful and powerful

‘Go’, reportedly runs at the speed of C. Other existing languages have not been optimized to run on modern day multi-core processors. The learning curves of ‘Go’ are comparable to that of Java and the language is not too hard to learn as well. ‘Go’ should be a programmer’s choice over existing languages like C and C++, given its speed and optimal implementation on current day hardware.

‘Go’ will go a long way in  bridging the gap between compiled and interpreted languages. Pike gives an example saying, Google Wave currently uses a C++ backend and a JavaScript frontend. ‘Go’, if used in Google Wave can replace both the backend and the frontend equally effectively. Pike is also quoted to have said:

Go has properties that make it really nice for running inside the browser for your apps

Which is something web-developers will really like. I will give ‘Go’ a go from my side.

For the rest, we will see the developer community’s take on ‘Go’ over the next few months.

Visit the ‘Go’ homepage for more details.

Fifefox 3.6 beta 2: Released with 190 Bug Fixes

Firefox 3.6 saw another beta early morning today, PST. The Firefox 3.6 beta 2 has been released with more than 190 bug fixes over the last Firefox 3.6 beta 1.

Firefox_3.6_beta_2
Firefox_3.6_beta_2

Firefox 3.6 features a new and improved rendering engine, a better JavaScript performance, full-screen videos, support for WOFF and a lot more. You can see more on Firefox 3.6 beta 1 in this earlier post.

The fixes in Firefox 3.6 beta 2 include:

  • Better support for mobile devices, specially on Windows CE.
  • Better support for WOFF on Linux and Solaris, bug fix of some characters not showing on these platforms.
  • Undo support for Personas.
  • Some minor UI fixes, like broken text in dialogues, windows and components being displaced on certain actions, etc.
  • Fix for full-screen mode, Mac problem of missing window title on returning from full-screen mode.
  • Resolving problems with lost focus of component windows.
  • Resolving maximize and restore window size.

These 190 fixes coming in less than 2 weeks proves that things are really moving fast at the Mozilla development front. With every beta release, we will move closer to a better Firefox.

Microsoft Caught Violating the GPL: Once Again!

Last month, we had featured Windows USB/DVD Tool (WUDT), which allowed users to create bootable setup media for Windows 7. In their hurry to release WUDT, Microsoft may have blatantly ripped off code licensed under GPL.

While tinkering with the UDF-related internals of WUDT, Rafael Rivera a Windows Guru, discovered that the source code was obviously lifted from the CodePlex-hosted (yikes) GPLv2-licensed ImageMaster project. The piece of code in question is actually a derivative of LGPL 7zip, which was reused by ImageMaster in accordance with the license.

Microsoft appears to have violated the GNU General Public License v2 on two counts. Firstly, they modified and distributed ImageMaster code without making the source code of the derivative product available. Secondly, they also imposed their own license on the software, which further restricted the user’s rights.

Microsoft has already removed WUDT from the Microsoft store and has promised to investigate this matter. It is worth noting that Microsoft has a bad reputation when it comes to open source. Steve Ballmer infamously called Linux a cancer and compared open source with communism. In fact, Microsoft has a tradition of stealing open source code and using it in their proprietary applications. So, it’s no wonder that they are despised by FOSS supporters and treated with suspicion by most Open Source advocates. This latest transgression will only make matters worse.

Microsoft Revamps Bing Videos: Showcases the Most Compelling Content from Around the Web

Microsoft is desperate to turn around their online division and has been putting in a lot of effort. Last week, they announced the first major redesign of MSN in a decade. Now, they have revamped Bing video search page.

Bing-Video-Search

The new Bing video search page incorporates high quality content from around the web. It includes MSN’s original programming as well as videos from other services like Hulu, ABC, and YouTube. Bing Videos will be serving everything from amateur videos and movie trailers to full length TV shows. Bing Videos currently features more than 900 TV shows, all of which is arranged alphabetically and organized into genre based categories. Individual episodes are extremely easy to find as they are grouped according to the season.

Bing-Video-Watch-Full-Leng-TV-Shows

The new Bing Videos has already started rolling out and should be available to all users within a few days. You can access the preview by going to bing.com/videos/browse.

Bing-Video-TV-Showcase

Manage Multiple Google Analytics Accounts Using Trakkboard

If you run Google Analytics on more than one websites, it gets a little time-consuming to go into each website’s profile to check the reports. Now this can be made easy using an application called Trakkboard.

Trakkboard is a desktop application that has been built using Google Analytics API. It allows a user to manage multiple Google Analytics profiles from a single screen. For example, if you are mostly interested in just the unique visitors to all your websites, you can set up a view where Trakkboard pulls Unique Visitors data from all your Google Analytics profiles and show them to you in the same view.

Trakkboard will also refresh the data in all the widgets after a certain interval. You can choose from up to 15 different widgets to setup your customized report. The application is totally free and is available in English, Spanish and German languages.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

Overall, Trakkboard is a great application that will save users a lot of time when managing multiple Google Analytics profiles. It is simple to setup and the ability to create a customized view from different profiles adds a lot of value.

Rating: 3/5