Saturday, March 14, 2015

8 Most Popular Keyboards Among Die-Hard Programmers

 Software professionals spend a lot of time in coding. That's why they get specially attached to their keyboards. There are some keyboards which reduce repetitive stress injuries while others encourage touch-typing. Developers have affinities for different keyboards. Here are eight models of keyboards which are most popular among programmers:

1. Das: 

Launched in 2005, Das keyboard encourages touch-typing which boosts typing speed and perfection. The Cherry MX switches also provide audible feedback. These keyboards help type faster.

2. IBM Model M: 

This keyboard was first introduced in 1984 and it has spring key design which offers audible feedback too. Its keys are switchable and it also allows different keyboard layouts. It's a durable model too. This keyboard is popular for its solid response and it allows typing for long hours without any stress. It also ensures lesser typos as it's very easy to type on this keyboard.

3. Kinesis Advantage: 

This keyboard, launched in 2002, has an ergonomic layout and some common non-letter keys are placed centrally on this keyboard. It helps reduce repetitive stress injuries while coding and its keys can be reprogrammed too. The keys can be switched between QWERTY and Dvorak. Kinesis suits perfectly with finger structure and it also offers built-in rests for wrists.

4. Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000: 

Launched in 2005, this keyboard gives a natural feel to its users as it has padded palm rests and helps reduce wrist pain. Programmers find this model extremely comfortable to use.

5. TypeMatrix: 

This keyboard model was launched in 1997. Its keys are placed in straight vertical columns and it helps reduce hand movement and repetitive stress. On this keyboard, the Enter and Backspace keys are placed within reach of index fingers and not thumbs.

6. DataHand: 

It's again an ergonomic keyboard model which allows custom hand placements. It allows easy access to key-switches to each finger and also use the integrated mouse. The movements on this keyboard are almost similar to QWERTY and it's the most ideal for those coders who love coding all the day.

7. Microsoft Comfort Curve: 

It's born in 2005 and it's ergonomic too. It's not as expensive as Microsoft’s Natural Ergonomic keyboards. Its keys are very low-profile which is another reason behind its popularity. Its curve makes a difference and it allows striking keys from any angle.

8. Apple Aluminium Wireless: 

It's a very popular keyboard among Apple fans and it's loved because of its slim design, aluminium case and also the MacBook-like key layout. It helps prevent fat-finger mistakes and it gives the feel of a laptop keyboard. Its design is quite compact and beautiful too.

Courtesy: IT World 

The Best 5 Browsers For Your Android Smartphone!

 When people are asked what is the best part of smartphones, most of them answer it's 'apps'. But for most people browser is the most used app on a smartphone. Tech giants Google and Apple are aware of this browser popularity and that's why both their default browsers are good enough. iOS is ruled by Safari, while Google Chrome is the king of Android. But there are several alternatives too to this default browser on Android. Here are the best five browsers an Android device offers:
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1. Google Chrome

This is the default browser on an Android phone which is a great choice. Its design is very appealing to its users and all browser data can be synced across device and platforms. It also allows saving bookmarks and passwords across devices which means you don't need to begin from the scratch. The browser also features voice search and a cool data compression feature. Its customisation options are limited but otherwise Chrome is an excellent option.

2. Firefox

Mozilla Firefox is offered for Android users with a polished and smooth browsing experience. Its add-on library is vast which adds lot of flexibility to the browser. It allows blocking ads, managing your passwords or create custom gestures for common actions like opening new tabs. Firefox also lets you save articles for offline reading and features a wide variety of customisation options too.

3. Hover

Hover browser's best feature is it's a floating app. It hovers over other apps letting you browse the Web while you are doing something else like watching a movie or send emails. But this browser doesn't work on all the apps. It's extremely helpful if you want to keep an eye on a webpage while using other apps. You can work on a document and keep the cricket scores open in a corner.

4. Opera Mini

Opera Mini looks updated these days big time. It's a useful browser for low-end phones. It takes less space after installation and it also offers a data compression feature. It helps you reduce quality of images on websites. It's better than the full Opera browser as it takes up lesser resources.

5. UC Browser

UC Browser is quite a popular Android browser with exciting features to improve your browsing experience. It can load pages very fast and it also manages downloads. It also tries to resume the downloads automatically if a drop happens in the Internet connection. UC Browser, in its latest development also integrates with Facebook and it shows notifications too.

Courtesy: NDTV 

15 Facts About Google You Probably Didn't Know!

Did you know that Google’s original name was Backrub? The name was inspired by the system method back links to find and rank pages. There are many fun facts about tech leader of the decade. Google founders came up with Google Doodle in 1998. The homepage doesn't have any fancy UI elements because Google founders did not know how to code front-end using HTML language. Today we have listed some such interesting lesser known facts about Google.
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1. The early version of Google was able to process only 30-50 pages per seconds. Now Google processes millions of pages per second.

2. Google founders used ten 4 GB hard drives to store the data in Lego casing, which enables easy expansion of storage capacity. Google has 100 million GB of data today.

3. Google founders never intended to start their own business. They were looking to sell the search engine system. Yahoo originally refused to buy Google but it later in 2002, they offered $3 billion to buy the company. Google founders refused the offer and the company is now valued at $400 billion.

4. Google investors misspelled the mathematical term ‘googol’ which was proposed as the name and, they ended up purchasing Google as domain name.

5. Till 2001, Google’s homepage was aligned to the right side of the page instead of the center.

6. Google cracked April fool prank in 2000 saying, they have invented mind reading ability for searches called ‘MentalPlex.’

7. Merriam-webster and Oxford English dictionaries included the verb ‘Google’ in their listing. The meaning of Google in dictionary is ‘search for information about on the internet using the search engine Google.

8. Google rents and feeds 200 goats to mow the weeds and brush around company’s headquarters.

9. Google offices have weird yet fancy decoration such as T-Rex, a space ship, Lego figure and adult size ball pits. The HQ is full of Android bots and statues.

10. Google is known for providing amazing snack to its employees. Google provides lot of gourmet food and snack. The company started offering Swedish Fish, chewy candy in 1999.

11. Larry Page’s brother was cofounder of eGroup, which Yahoo acquired for $500 million in 2000.

12. Larry Page and Sergey Brin met at Stanford University. Brin had given short tour of school to Larry Page, as he was a new student there.

13. Google has averaged a new company acquisition per week since 2000.

14. Google acquired YouTube during a meeting at Denny’s restaurant.

15. Google employees are known as Googlers while new employees are called as Nooglers. 

This article originally published by:-efytimes

IT jobs outlook: High demand, higher salaries

With the hot job market for technology professionals, it is not surprising that salaries are up, too – though only a bit.

Technology jobs site reported late last week that technology pay was up again last year, with IT professionals earning an average annual salary of $89,450, an increase of 2 percent over 2013. More than half of these professionals – 61 percent – earned higher salaries in 2014, mainly though merit raises. Another 25 percent said they received higher pay by changing employers. Thirty-seven percent of tech professionals polled said they received a bonus last year, slightly more than the 34 percent in 2013.
Technical recruiters salaries jumped as well, by 19 percent to an average of $81,966, demonstrating the importance of identifying and bringing on technical professionals, said.
Dice gathered its data by surveying 23,470 technology professionals online between late September and late November.
“As demand for technology professionals rises and highly skilled talent is harder to find, the pressure is being reflected where it counts: paychecks,” said Shravan Goli, president of said in a statement released by the company. “Still, tech pros are less happy with their earnings, signaling to companies that in order to recruit and retain the best candidates, offering more will be necessary."
Despite the news on salary increases, satisfaction with wages declined. Fifty-two percent of professionals were satisfied with their compensation last year, down from 54 percent the prior year. Satisfaction with wages has dipped annually since 2012, said.
Dice also said tech professionals are more confident that they can find a new position; 37 percent anticipate changing employers this year for improvements in pay or conditions. But with pay rising, professionals are slightly less likely to relocate to a new job in 2015.
Big data and cloud computing professionals earn the highest paychecks, said. “Cloud is not new to the tech world but as more companies — large and small — adopt the technology, tech professionals with this experience will enjoy opportunities,” said Goli. “Big data made a big showing last year and we’re seeing it this year, too."
Regionally, the Pacific region has the highest salaries, with professionals in Silicon Valley earning an average of $112,610, a 4 percent climb year-to-year. The second-highest-paid region is Seattle, with average salaries of $99,423, an increase of 5 percent in 2014. Sacramento technology salaries rose 14 percent to $96,788, while salaries in Portland were $91,556 – an uptick of 9 percent. In San Diego, tech salaries ascended 4 percent to $94,121.
Other markets with above-average pay increases included Boston and Chicago, with salaries rising 3 percent year-to-year to $97,288 and $88,866 respectively. In Dallas and New York, average pay increased 2 percent respectively to $91,674 and $95,586. Washington, DC, salaries in technology rose only 1 percent, to $98,323.’s findings were similar to those by Janco Associates and, whose recently released 2015 Salary Survey found hiring and salaries have improved for IT in most North American metropolitan areas. “For the first time in over six years salaries for IT pros have moved up almost across the board,” Janco CEO Victor Janulaitis said. “We believe that this is due to the fact that over 112,000 new IT jobs were created in the last 12 months and that the economy seems to be in a recovery mode.”
This story, "IT jobs outlook: High demand, higher salaries" was originally published by InfoWorld.

10 things you should worry about in 2015

Last week, in a generous mood, I offered 10 things you shouldn't bother worrying about in 2015. But I couldn't leave it at that.

As much as I hate the word "disruption," when the existing order shakes up the way it has over the past year or so, something's gotta give. Maybe you depend on some of those things, maybe not -- either way it's time to fret.

1. Your second-tier PaaS provider going away

My friend Sacha Labourey’s startup Cloudbees recently announced it's leaving PaaS to focus onJenkins. Cloudbees isn’t the first PaaS breakup, and it certainly won’t be the last, but Cloudbees was one of the good ones. I would expect more exits this year. As a result, more customers will be hugging trusted bellwethers like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. It also means this is IBM’s year to make Bluemix and SoftLayer fly because companies want PaaS, but don't want to risk seeing their provider go bye-bye.

2. Overfunded startups

The Silicon Valley VC community is too small to promote real growth in this country, let alone the world. It's a model that lets a few people play the lottery of American business, but it fails more often than not. VCs look for a 10- to 40-fold return on investment when they sell a portfolio company, which means taking huge risks -- with the end goal of paying for failures when other bets don't pan out.
When I was part of JBoss, a startup that sold to Red Hat in 2006, JBoss had raised less than $40 million. It then sold for a bit shy of $400 million. Now look at today’s valuations.
I’ve no doubt that MongoDB and Hortonworks or Cloudera will offer IPOs or sell for a lot of money. But what about the next level? Are you telling me that all of those NoSQL vendors that have raised $100 million are going to be billion-dollar exits? There are some likely successes, such as Datastax (Cassandra), which may succeed due to great execution. But many exhibit worrisome signs: executive departures, key salespeople getting poached, and so on -- yet some have raised close to $200 million.
Fewer firms are getting funded these days, but those that get funding are netting larger amounts. How can that model work? VCs aren't any better at picking winners than before, so they're all going to be wrong together. Maybe it won’t be 2015, because it takes a while to burn through $100 million, but watch for big disasters. Sadly, this will cause a pullback. The same conservatism that 2009 caused will bring about the next VC Armageddon.
The old model of spreading the risk succeeded. The new model hinges on concentrating investments in a few plays you’re “very sure will win.” It's hard to see that working out well.

3. IBM's cloud plans

For two years in a row, I said not to worry about it. In fact, I noticed that IBM's cloud revenue seemed inflated before the SEC did. Today, there are finally signs of life, with SoftLayer expanding its footprint and Bluemix showing real promise. The company is advertising its cloud. It has up-front pricing. You can sign up without a fax machine. This is IBM’s year to make good on the cloud.

4. Microsoft Surface

Trying to be Apple, Google, Amazon, and everyone in between was Ballmer’s desperate move. Getting into the hardware business and launching lots of retail outlets seemed quixotic at best. I expect Surface to continue in 2015, but it will remain a disappointment, and a line reduction can be expected in 2016. 

5. Another huge cracking scandal

In the tech industry, we try and find the world's cheapest developers, pair them with ineffective project/product management across the dateline, and buy a security product to put in front of the whole mess. Next we treat the inevitable crash or security breach as a strange act of god. Are we really shocked that anyone can put on a Guy Fawkes mask, do some elemental SQL injection or launch a little botnet, and bring our rickety structures to the ground?A continued shortage of developers is making technology more expensive for small-to-midsize companies. It also leads to increased reliance on “low-cost countries.” Until the developer shortage is under control, we’re headed for economic contortions. It's truly odd -- in an era where you’re virtually guaranteed a high-paying job -- that we can't lure enough people in developed countries into the field. This strange twist will also cause the industry to rely increasingly on less skilled workers. Even if you’re personally blessed with a high salary, this should be the “unknown unknown” that keeps you up at night.

7. Your Red Hat stock

Red Hat needs better execution. Now even investors know it.
On the one hand, selling support for an OS isn’t going to excite anyone in 2015. On the other hand, PaaS has proven to be a difficult business. Meanwhile, if you’re not excited about Linux or PaaS, you’re going to be even less excited about Red Hat’s growing portfolio of underfunded, half-baked Java offerings. (Full disclosure: I worked briefly for Red Hat after its acquisition of JBoss, the unit that produces most of the half-baked Java offerings.)
If PaaS isn’t the thing and JavaEE isn’t about to undergo a massive rebirth and we’re not all going to roll out massive Linux-based hardware deployments, how can Red Hat avoid stagnation? Frankly, without new management focused on creating products and services people want to buy, as well as rein in the bureaucracy and trim the fat, expect long-lingering pain and suffering in Red Hat’s shiny new office in Raleigh.

8. The Internet and the Fourth Amendment

Until the bulk of the unwashed and uneducated masses actually start to care about Internet freedom and privacy, expect its continued erosion. I for one welcome our continued control by our corporate masters through their political puppets.

9. Leap seconds

June 30 will be the longest day of the year. It will last 86,401 seconds -- not the standard 86,400. How will you spend that extra second? More important, is all your software patched to do the right thing with that second? Also, since there is no standard way for software to handle the extra second, how will it all work together? It isn’t the first time (2012 was the last time), but I’d still hop to patching.

10. Your job, if your title can be anticipated by the Silicon Valley Job Title Generator

As successful companies roll out IPOs or get acquired, someone will start trying to trim the fat in order to create a successful business model and actually produce profits, which means you’re getting the axe. You'd better find a new startup looking for a “shareability guardian.”
To sum up: Migrate from your mom-and-pop PaaS to one of the big names, patch your leap seconds, change to a more serious job title, sell off all the RHT you’ve been holding. Remember, Big Brother is watching (along with the folks who hacked Big Brother) and don't forget to swap your Surface for a nice shiny Lenovo. Also, try not to panic. Did I miss anything?
This story, "10 things you should worry about in 2015" was originally published byInfoWorld.

Node.js goes pro: New opportunities -- and risks

In its mere five years of existence, Node.js has transformed from a technological curiosity to a technology stack all its own, providing a major building block for everything from microservices to APIs.
The better part of the rise is due to the ecosystem of tools, development environments, and hosting services that has evolved around Node.js in response to the need to make existing development tools Node.js-friendly (such as Visual Studio) and to provide Node.js with the kind of professional-level support and service it requires.
But tooling specific to the needs of Node.js apps gives a more granular view of the health of the Node.js ecosystem, showing both how far Node.js has come and how far it still has to go. High-profile shifts away from Node.js, including the recent introduction of a fork, magnify not only the limitations of the Node.js ecosystem but also the direction in which the ecosystem must evolve.
Here is a look at the future of Node.js as seen in developments emerging today.

Development environments: Uneven -- and looking beyond the traditional IDE

Not surprisingly, JavaScript development environments have long revolved around authoring and debugging JavaScript as a client-side affair. Though the JavaScript consoles in Chrome and Firefox provide an REPL interface, among other debugging tools, they are mainly aimed at satisfying the needs of client, not server, developers.
For those looking to use JavaScript beyond the client, intriguing authoring and debugging tools are emerging. A project from StrongLoop, makers of a stack of Node.js dev tools, will allow experienced developers to leverage front-end JavaScript debugging tools for Node.js debugging on the back end. Node.js Inspector plugs Chrome’s Developer Tools into a running Node.js instance, enabling its inspection, breakpoint, step-through, source-file navigation, and REPL functionality to work directly with Node.js apps. It doesn’t yet perform profiling, though, and while there is another project in the works to satisfy that need (Node.js Webkit Agent), it too is largely incomplete, and only profiles heap and CPU usage for Node.js apps.
When it comes to IDEs, the picture is a little rosier. For one, most every professional IDE has not only JavaScript support but Node.js support; here, Visual Studio and Eclipse lead the pack. While they clearly favor Microsoft’s ecosystem, the Node.js tools for Visual Studio, for example, now feature local and remote debugging, NPM support, and many other functions needed by Node.js developers.
Outside of the conventional IDE sandbox, interesting things are happening with Node.js. Consider IBM’s Node-RED, billed as “a visual tool for wiring the Internet of things.” With Node-RED, code is wired together in flows, or visual diagrams that show how “hardware devices, APIs, and online services” are connected. Obviously the programming isn’t done with flows alone; a copy of Eclipse is embedded within Node-RED for writing JavaScript. It isn’t likely that all Node.js apps could be created or edited this way, but it’s one example of how Node.js is inspiring new approaches to development tooling that looks beyond the conventional IDE.

Hosting: Competition spurs support and innovation in the cloud

Before Node.js began making serious headway, the only way to run Node.js was to spin it up on bare metal that you owned. That time has long since passed, and cloud providers are now climbing over each other to provide Node.js hosting -- not only support for Node.js in VMs, but full-blown PaaS hosting for Node.js.
Most every brand-name PaaS now has Node.js support, and those that got an early start have gone to some lengths to bolster their support. Heroku, for instance, not only lets you deploy Node.js apps, but you can take your pick of which version of Node.js or NPM to use (including newer, not necessarily supported versions). Amazon, on the other hand, has used the pretext of PaaS-like Node.js support to create an entirely new kind of functional programming serviceAWS Lambda. Because Node.js and JavaScript are event-driven, Amazon reasoned, why not create a mini-stack for Node.js that runs code in response to events piped into it from the rest of AWS?
Amazon already had experience hitching Node.js to its services by way of an SDK that allows calls to AWS through Node.js, but AWS Lambda took an even bigger leap into Node.js territory. It’s unlikely this highly focused use of JavaScript will produce the demand enjoyed by the Node.js stack, but Lambda is intriguing. Amazon is clearly interested in what other fruit this approach can bear, as it has tentative plans to add support for other languages to Lambda down the road.
Another key change in the way Node.js works with hosts has come with the advent of Docker, the red-hot app containerization technology. Docker provides an easy way to bundle the Node.js runtime with its code, data, and any other associated applications, meaning any dependencies required by the application -- including the specific version of Node needed for it -- don’t have to be supported by the host. Docker also provides convenient ways to create Node.js apps and scale them (such as via the open source Deis PaaS). And an NPM package for Docker, dnt, allows Docker to be used to test code against multiple versions of Node.js in parallel.
Given these developments, Node hosting options will likely proliferate going forward. Here, containerization is key, as it makes it possible for developers to run Node.js on host services without the host even supporting the application’s Node runtime of choice. But as seen in Amazon’s Lambda, support for Node.js can also reap rewards for hosting providers looking to leverage the Node API to build new services and products.

Testing and debugging: The Node.js Achilles’ heel

Here, one of the biggest limitations is the way the debugging API, present in the V8 engine at the core of Node.js, has consistently lagged behind V8 itself. Ugur Kadakal of Nubisa, makers of the JXcore variant of Node.js, noted that while the Promises feature of JavaScript has been supported in V8 for some time, the V8 debugger still fails when they are used.
Joyent, by way of the Joyent Private Cloud and Joyent Compute Service, has developed its own solutions to the issues with Node.js debugging. The most painful of those issues is memory consumption.
“Historically,” says Bryan Cantrill, chief technology officer at Joyent, “we have little insight into how memory is used in dynamic environments.”
To that end, Joyent included inside-out Node.js debugging support in its platform by leveraging the DTrace functionality of Joyent’s Solaris-derived SmartOS, on which the platform is built. The bad news is that anyone who wants to use the same toolset needs to run SmartOS, either on their own or via Joyent’s cloud. Cantrill didn’t rule out the possibility the debugging technology could be ported to other platforms, but admitted it has a lot of dependencies on SmartOS that would need to be resolved.
Testing frameworks represent another area for possible improvement. Bowery, creator of a cloud development-environment system, built the first version of its service in Node.js, but eventually switched to Go for a variety of reasons. Among them was the fact some testing frameworks for Node.js “worked better for front end, like Jasmine, and others were better for the backend, like Mocha.” With Go, they reasoned, testing is built-in and standardized across the board; Node.js could benefit from having a testing framework of similar robustness.
One fairly high-profile exit from the world of Node.js development was spurred by the existing limitations on debugging and developing Node.js applications. TJ Holowaychuk, creator of Koa, Express, and the Node.js-canvas project, penned an essay in June 2014 wherein he bid farewell, albeit fondly, to Node.js development and its environment that “favours performance over usability and robustness.” Debugging and error handling, especially for callbacks -- one of Node.js’s core behaviors --struck him as grossly underdeveloped.
To Holowaychuk, Node.js is a worthy and powerful project, but “performance means nothing if your application is frail, difficult to debug, refactor and develop.” Holowaychuk expressed confidence that these problems could be overcome in time.
In theory, an open source project like Node.js should develop by leaps and bounds, with problems like the ones outlined here attacked in short order. In practice, though, parts of Node.js haven’t evolved as quickly as others. Aside from debugging and inspection, concerns about the pace of Node development have arisen, as evidenced in release cycle issues over the past year.
Joyent's plans to address this became clear only recently. Version 0.12 of Node was finally delivered in February 2015 with improvements in the above vein, and a separate Node.js Foundation is being set up to move governance to a disinterested third party.
Before that, however, others took their own steps. A fork of the Node.js project, named io.js, came into being as a way to address debugging, slow release cycles, and governance, among other issues.
Other plans include adding tracing functions to Node.js on Linux, and using a more recent build of the JavaScript V8 engine to “integrate with the latest debugging tools Google has made for Chrome and take advantage of other work they’ve done to improve debugging.”
“Debugging has always been challenging in an async environment,” said Rogers, “but we’re making headway.”
Io.js is still young, although a few existing Node.js deployments have begun using it (one engineer at Uber has apparently already done so at scale). But whether those advances and more like them come from Io.js or Node.js itself, it's clear that changes are badly needed for Node.js to flourish even more.
[This article was edited to clarify the use of Io.js by other companies.]
This story, "Node.js goes pro: New opportunities -- and risks" was originally published by InfoWorld.