Microsoft has released a free trial of its cloud-based relational database.
The community technology preview (CTP) of SQL Azure Database was made available Tuesday, along with a preview of an SQL Server driver for building PHP applications for the Azure platform.
The Azure Services Platform, first announced at a developer conference last year, is Microsoft's move into the rapidly growing cloud-computing market. As with all cloud platforms, the idea is to provide scalable, hosted services on a pay-per-use basis, running remotely in Microsoft's data centers.
SQL Azure Database, a key component of the platform, is a rival to … Read more
iDork Lite is a free, 15-level preview for iDork, a path-tracing game similar to other arcade/puzzle games for the iPhone and iPod Touch in which you use your touch screen to draw a path to help a stick figure avoid various obstacles--in this case, animated pencils, protractors, erasers, and other deadly school supplies, since your "iDork" is "lost in a world of school paperwork."
Once you trace a line for your iDork to walk on, you move him by placing a virtual thumbtack where you want him to go, and pressing a jump button for … Read more
CSR has unveiled a new GPS architecture that it says will let portable devices be constantly location-aware without draining their batteries.
The architecture, SiRFstarIV, was announced on Tuesday along with the first product to use it, CSR's GSD4t receiver for mobile phones and other portable devices.
Mobile phones increasingly have GPS (Global Positioning System) as a feature, for navigation and other location-based services. However, current GPS architecture is a major contributor to battery drain--a situation CSR is hoping to fix.
PayPal, eBay's well established but aging mechanism for online payments, is trying to rebuild itself for a new generation of online commerce possibilities.
At an event for press and developers on Thursday, PayPal and its partners described several new programming interfaces that are part of the company's upcoming Adaptive Payments Service and showed what developers can do with them.
For example, Microsoft will use the interface to enable payments within its forthcoming Azure cloud-computing service. And LiveOps' on-demand outsourcing service will use it to automatically handle fluctuating payment amounts and changes to who's being paid. Finally, the … Read more
Facebook posted a set of small announcements on its developer blog Wednesday, most notably a call for alpha testers for the virtual currency platform that it's finally launching after much speculation.
"We are currently conducting an alpha test in which select applications can accept Facebook Credits from users," the post wrote. "Our 250 million users can now buy Facebook Credits in 15 currencies and we believe that, as Facebook Credits become more broadly available on Platform, they will meaningfully improve developer monetization and provide a great experience for users."
Interested developers are encouraged to contact … Read more
Bud Redhead-The Time Chase is a video game adventure through time and space. While the story is fun, the graphics and game play didn't leave us with a great deal of confidence.
This program's interface is incredibly simple. Gameplay is achieved using the arrow and CTRL keys. Maneuvering through the options is a point-and-click matter. There is a Help file, but anyone who has played video games before will not need to consult it. Playing the game was very simple and most people will be able to jump directly into the action after reading the onscreen backstory and … Read more
Shift Lite is the iPhone version of the popular Web-based Flash game Shift, a traditional, puzzle-based platformer with a twist. In Shift, you traverse a stark black-and-white game world to the beat of a jazzy, noir soundtrack, jumping over obstacles and grabbing keys to activate platforms that let you "escape" into each progressively more complex level. You use touch-screen buttons to run left and right, and you press both buttons to jump.
The twist in Shift involves the black-and-white game world: puzzles on each level often require you to hit the "Shift" button (or you can … Read more
Money Manager Ex provides an easy method for monitoring household income and expenditures. While easy to operate, users may be turned off by the amount of work required to keep the numbers accurate.
The program's interface is easily the highlight of Money Manager Ex. With a simple-to-manage tree outlining accounts and reports, users can quickly monitor their situations. Inputting new data flowed intuitively and required a small commitment of time. In addition, the program provides users with an incredibly in-depth Help file, providing details on every aspect of the program. The program plans ahead for investments, savings, and expenses. … Read more
Of the formative figures in open source, Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds, and Eric Raymond loom large. Arguably, however, few have had as much of a disruptive force as Tim O'Reilly, who has helped to create the open-source market and has spent the last six years reshaping it with his seminal "Open Source Paradigm Shift" and other articles.
In an engaging and informative recent TWiT podcast, O'Reilly revisits the theme. It doesn't break new ground (for O'Reilly), but does highlight, and render somewhat meaningless, the fissures currently running through the open-source community.
Host Randal Schwartz … Read more