Google Android Translation Guide


If you are new to Android programming, you will find there are a few ‘new’ concepts and paradigms to learn. There are fancy new terms such as ‘Activity’ and ‘Intent’. Rest assured, most of these expressions are just Google trying to put their own stamp on some pretty tried and true programming paradigms.

Getting started with Amazon DynamoDB


What’s Amazon DynamoDB?

DynamoDB is one of the most recent services offered by Announced on January 18, 2012, it is a fully managed NoSQL database service that provides fast and predictable performance along with excellent scalability. Let’s quickly analyze its positive and negative aspects in the lists below:

Thumbnail View of a Large Number of Photos with Three20


Three20 is an open-source library for iOS applications. It provides many handy features that make your iOS development life much easier. It’s used in many popular iOS apps, including Facebook. One of the features that I’d like to discuss is the photo thumbnail view. Here’s a screenshot of TTCatalog app, a sample app that comes with Three20 project.

Clustering your data on the Map. What should you use?


Web mapping services are become more popular as more applications are required to display a considerable amount of data on a map. Applications use a map view most of the time to show single points but clusters of data are becoming more popular.

Before moving forward with any of the web mapping services, it is better to understand what the application really needs from the map provider. In this case our system needs just two features:

·      Clustering data
·      Showing a single marker on the map

Custom log files in Rails 3


In addition to outputting lots of useful information, the Rails logger can be a useful debugging tool.  But debugging with the log file can become frustrating as it will be cluttered with default content.  The solution to this problem is to create a custom logger and log file for such output.

The easiest way to do this is to create a global log function, enable it in your development environment, and make sure that calls to it don’t do anything in other environments.

In-App Facebook Authentication on iOS


The official Facebook iOS SDK provides an easy way for any iOS applications to authenticate against a Facebook account. If you follow this tutorial, you’ll be able to add facebook authentication in your app in less than 15 minutes. It’s that simple. Once your app has been authenticated, it will possess both access token and expiration date. These two pieces of data will be used in subsequent communication with Facebook.

A Quick Reference on Box-Shadows


Every few months I come across the need to add shadows to frontends, and it seems each time I have to go back and look up how these things work.  I always take to the internet for a brush up on box shadows, but I seem to find more information than I’m looking for – I just want a quick cheat sheet, not the War and Peace of box-shadowing.  So here’s the cheat sheet I’ll be using from now on to create the shadows I need.

Fast and slow-motion video with ffmpeg


In my last installment we looked at all the reasons why editing video isn’t as easy as it should be.  Let’s assume that we’ve cleared those hurdles, and now actually want to do some video editing from the command line.  A not-uncommon video effect is fast- and slow-motion, sped-up or slowed-down video.  Being common, you’d think it would be readily available in any video editing software, but you’d be wrong.  Out of respect for all its other virtues, we’ll be using ffmpeg today.

Scrum is like 20th Century Politics (Part 3 of 3)


In Part 1 and Part 2, we saw the forces of extreme right and extreme left savage two organizations in the name of scrum. One company goose stepped about in Luftwaffe jumpsuits. Another built a gulag for stakeholders who would question its developers-only central planning meetings.

In both cases, malevolent propagandists diverted the team’s purpose, and product progress all but ceased. The right was called wrong. The in progress was called done.  The 1 was called 0. User stories were enigmatic and undecipherable.