However, these two programming languages are not the same, and are actually used to do different things, though they do share some of the same syntax and other features. They are also both frequently used by programmers, and in fact, you may use them both everyday and not even know it!
Once a programmer writes their Java code (a “.java” file), and the complies it, it turns into a “.class” file that contains the compiled Java bytecode, which can then be read and understood by the Java Virtual Machine. The JVM, in turn, takes the compiled Java bytecode and then runs, or executes, the code, thus causing the computer to do what the programmer originally asked it to do.
Since Java runs with the help of the Java Runtime Environment and its virtual machine, Java code can be run on any device that supports the installation and running of the JRE and JVM, which includes computers, cell phones, routers, cameras, and other devices!
An example of how data can be entered and retrieved from a database without having to refresh the page would be with Facebook’s chat service. When a user types a message to another user, the data is entered into a database, but is also then retrieved from the database relatively quickly and shown to the receiving user or users whom the message was intended for.
Also, both languages are object oriented, which means that they both support the use of the various features of object oriented programming, such as the creation and instantiation of classes, manipulating objects, encapsulation, polymorphism, as well as some other features.
However, there may be some slight differences between the various things that can be done when related to OOP, since the two languages are different and serve different purposes, but for the most part, the two languages support much of the same features when it comes to writing object oriented code.
Also, should you have any questions, comments, or suggestions on this post, or any other post or topic, please feel free to contact me!
As you may have already seen on various social networking websites, Facebook will be acquiring the popular social imaging sharing application, Instagram, for $1 billion.
Today, about two hours ago, Instagram CEO, Kevin Systrom published a blog post, stating that Instagram has agreed to be acquired by Facebook. Also in the blog post, Systrom says that Instagram “is not going away” and that the two companies will be working together to “evolve Instagram and build the network.”
According to the blog post, Instagram will still be the same application that users “know and love”, and everyone will retain their followers and such, as well.
In addition, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg posted to his Facebook profile’s timeline, saying “I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook.”
Zuckerberg also said in his post that while Facebook and Instagram both compliment each other, “we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.” He then goes on to say “That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.”
With Instagram for Android just released about a week ago, on March 27, 2012, I find this to be an interesting announcement. I think it’ll be interesting to see how Instagram can grow and develop now that they have the power and funds of Facebook behind them.
For more information regarding this announcement, you should check out this blog post from Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg’s timeline post, and this article from TechCrunch If you’re interested in what Instagram is all about and what you can do with the application, please feel free to check out this TechnicalCafe blog post that I wrote a while back.
If you have an account on social networking websites, such as Twitter or Facebook, chances are that you have seen at least one image that has been uploaded and edited using the popular social photo-sharing application, called Instagram.
Instagram is an application that enables users to take photos, or choose existing photos from their iPhones, iPod Touches, or iPads, and then edit them by applying one of a variety of different filters to them. (Feel free to check out this, more in-depth, post about Instagram, here!)
Then, users can enter in some information about the photo, such as some text, describing it and whether or not they would like to geo-tag it, and upload it to the Instagram service. From there, other Instagram users can view, “like”, and comment on these pictures.
This popular application also features the ability for users to share their photos on both Facebook and Twitter, which may have helped other people discover Instagram.
However, Instagram is still only available on iOS enabled devices, such as Apple’s iPhone and other devices, mentioned earlier, leaving users of other smartphone operating systems, such as Android, wondering if Burbn, Inc., the application’s creator, would eventually release a version for the operating system that their phones run.
Now, however, Android users shouldn’t have to wait much longer for a version of Instagram compatible with their cell phones, as there is a relatively new page on the Instagram website, which displays an Android logo that has a camera set into it. Additionally, on the Instagram website’s homepage, there are two download links, one for the iOS version of the application, and one for the Android version, which says “Coming Soon”.
When clicked, this button will take users to the aforementioned page, which is displayed above, where they can enter their e-mail addresses, in order to be “first in line” for the Android version of the application.
Having been an Instagram user on the iPhone, I found the application to be fun to use, and also useful for adding some effects to photos, making them look better, perhaps setting the tone for the photo itself.
However, having recently switched to the AT&T Fusion, which runs Android, I was no longer able to use Instagram, and instead of having the option of posting the original photo to websites, such as Twitter or Facebook, I was now forced to do so, or to find an alternative application.
Though, now that Instagram is coming to the Android operating system, hopefully us Android users will be able to use Instagram again, or perhaps even begin using the application! As for when Instagram will be coming out for Android, the date is unknown, but hopefully it will be sometime in the near future!
If you have a device that runs iOS and would like to try using Instagram, you can download the application for free from this link (may open iTunes if you have it installed on your computer). Also, if you’d like to visit the official Instagram website, you can do so at Instagram.com.
For updates related to TechnicalCafe, please feel free to follow us on Twitter, at Twitter.com/TechnicalCafe! If you’re interested in what I’m up to on a daily basis, you can follow me on Twitter, as well! (@Jamiemcg)
As you have probably already heard, yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the company’s newest version of the iPad, with some new features, as well as some improvements on some current features, making it perhaps the best version of the iPad yet!
There are still two models of the iPad, one that is Wi-Fi only, and one that incorperates both Wi-Fi and, a new, 4G connection.
Both of these are the same size, with the height measuring 9.50 inches, width being 7.31 inches, and their depth both being 0.37 of an inch. However, the Wi-Fi version is slightly lighter than the Wi-Fi + 4G version, with the Wi-Fi only iPad weighing 1.42 pounds, and the Wi-Fi + 4G version weighing slightly more at 1.46 pounds. Though, this probably isn’t enough to notice any significant difference.
Additionally, both models of the iPad have three options as far as memory goes, with there being 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models, which was what there were with the previous generation of the iPad.
One thing that people were speculating that the new iPad would have was a Retina screen, which they guessed right, as this version comes with a 9.7 inch LED-Backlit Retina multi-touch display, with a resolution of 2,048 by 1,536 pixels, at 256 pixels per inch (PPI).
The display also features a fingerprint resistant coating, as well, which should help to keep your screen clean, as far as fingerprints go, anyway. Also, the display is able to display multiple characters from multiple languages at the same time.
As for the processor, according to the Apple website, the new iPad comes with a “Dual-core Apple A5X custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip with quad-core graphics”, which is newer than the Apple A5 chip that is in the previous generation of the iPad.
The iPad has support for Wi-Fi 802.11 versions a, b, g, and n, as well as support for Bluetooth and a 4G connection with AT&T or Verizon being the carriers to choose from.
Additionally, the iPad’s camera has been upgraded to a 5 MegaPixel iSight camera, with features including: autofocus, tap-to-focus, face detection (in still images), 1080p HD video recording, as well as the ability to use Apple’s FaceTime service in VGA quality at 30 fps, with the iPad’s front-facing camera.
As for battery life, the Apple website says that the iPad a built-in 42.5 watt-hour Lithium-polymer battery, which can provide up to 10 hours of battery life for web surfing on Wi-Fi, watching videos, or listening to music. However, if one is using the 4G connection, the iPad’s battery can provide up to 9 hours of battery life, which is only a one hour difference than if one were to use the Wi-Fi connection.
The new iPad will be running Apple’s iOS operating system, which includes the ability for users to download applications, as well as use the ones that come pre-installed on the iPad, some of which include: Apple’s Safari browser, the Mail application, iBooks, Photos, FaceTime, NewsStand, Maps, Messages, Calendar, as well as some others!
One new feature that was not in previous versions of the iPad or iOS is the “Dictation” feature, which enables users to simply talk, and their iPad will type what they are saying. Dictation can be used with built-in applications, such as Notes, as well as third-party applications, which can be quite useful, especially if you have a lot to type, or simply do not feel like typing it in!
Additionally, while reading over some of a TechCrunch article by writer and CrunchFund partner, MG Siegler, he noted that this version of the iPad did not come with a new name, such as the “iPad 3″, which perhaps some people were expecting. Rather, it was simply called the “iPad”, and Siegler points out that this is also the case with the Mac and MacBook line of products, which is interesting.
For more information regarding the newest version of Apple’s iPad, you should check out the iPad section of Apple’s official website, where you can find information about the iPad’s specs, iOS, the built-in applications that the iPad comes with, as well as more information about the iPad’s features!
If you’d like to pre-order a new iPad or purchase any other Apple prodouct, you can do so by visiting the Apple Store website.
As you have probably noticed throughout the day yesterday, a variety of websites went “dark” or “blacked out” in order to protest the proposed SOPA and PIPA laws that are being considered by the United States’ Congress.
If you’re unfamiliar or are unsure of what SOPA (Sop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) are, they are acts or laws that are being considered by the House of Representatives and the Senate of the United States, respectively, which would allow the government to essentially “censor the Internet”, in order to prevent piracy and to protect copyrighted content that can be found online.
This means, for example, that if a social networking website had a lot of users and some of them were posting material or links that contained copywritten material, these websites could potentially be shut down or censored by the government.
However, many web companies and services decided that this should not be something that happens, and because of this, chose to protest the SOPA and PIPA bills by “blacking out”, or essentially “going offline” on January 18, 2012, for a day.
One company that decided to “black out” their website in protest of these two acts included Wikipedia, which displayed a large banner over the content of articles, preventing users from reading them, but letting them know what these acts are, why they can be considered bad for the Internet and its users, as well as what users can do to help protest and prevent these acts from becoming law, which included providing contact information for various state legislators.
Reddit.com, a popular news sharing website, also “blacked out” their website for a majority of the day, and like Wikipedia, informed users of what these proposed pieces of legislation are and what would happen if they were to come into effect in the United States. Additionally, Reddit also provided users with information about protesting and contacting law-makers.
Many other companies and websites also participated in the “black out” day, including Google, WordPress.org and Quora. Though, not all of these companies decided to shut down completely, and especially in the case of Google, would probably not have proved logical, as it is such as large company with many people depending on its services.
However, Google did “black out” their logo, covering most of it with a black box and linking to this page, which provided information about the proposed anti-piracy acts and how to go about protesting and preventing them.
For images of what some websites looked like when they “blacked out”, you should check out this thread on the Helifreak.com forums, which I found while searching for SOPA images on Google Images.
Quora.com, like many other websites, chose to display a banner at the top of their website, which said “Stop SOPA” and linked to a question on the website about what the company’s stance on SOPA and PIPA is.
The AmericanCensorship.org website has created a great infographic, which describes what SOPA is, what the effects of this bill can have on the Internet, as well as what you can do to help prevent this bill from becoming law.
As you can see, SOPA and PIPA are bills which much of the Internet community is strongly against and is protesting. For more more information about these proposed acts, as well as how you can contact a legislator in your state, you should visit the above websites, which provide great information regarding this topic.
Since today is the last day of 2011, I figured I’d write up a post about what iPhone and iPad applications I enjoyed using over the past year. These apps don’t necessarily have to be the “best” or most useful iPhone or iPad applications of the past year, but rather, they are applications that I may have used or heard of and thought they were nice, enjoyable, or useful applications.
Also, just a note that this list is not in any particular order, so the first app listed isn’t necessarily better than the last one listed.
1. TweetBot (iPhone)
TweetBot, by TapBots, is a Twitter client, which allows users to access their Twitter feeds, read and post Tweets, view people’s profiles on the service, as well as other things. TweetBot also features a great looking user interface, which includes sounds and animation and makes viewing and writing tweets fun. Also included in the application is multi-touch gesture support, so users can view, create, and read tweets in a more interesting and interactive way.
In addition, TweetBot supports the ability for users to have multiple timelines within the application, so that, if they have more than one Twitter account, users can view them both within the same application. Users can simply tap on the “Timeline” button, which looks like two figures of people, and is located in the top left of the app, to view their timelines and select which one they would like to use. Also from this menu, users can choose to go to the “Accounts and Settings” page of the app.
2. Saver (iPhone)
Saver, by Alex Solonsky, is an app that allows users to track and view their expenses and features things, such as graphs and lists, where users can see how much money they’ve spent and where it’s going. When a user wants to add an expense to Saver, all they need to do is click on the “+” icon, located at the bottom of the app, which then brings up a screen where users can enter in an amount of money, as well as select, or “tag”, what this money was spent on.
There are a variety of categories that users can pick from, in order to tag their expenses, including “General”, “Kids”, “House”, “Amusement”, “Wardrobe”, “Groceries”, “Auto”, “Food”, “Payments”, “Vacation”, and more! Additionally, each category also has sub-categories, which users can use to further narrow down what they spent their money on. For example, some of the subcategories in the “Food” tag, include “Cafe”, “Fastfood”, “Bar”, and “Restaurant”.
Once a user has added their expenses, they can view them in a pie-chart, which is color coded according to the category of expense. Users can then tap on that part of the chart, which will bring up a list of the user’s expenses. Also, users can select to view their expenses by either the week, month, or year, which is useful if you want to track your expenses only for a certain amount of time.
3. Instagram (iPhone)
Instagram, by Burbn, Inc. is on the list for the second year in a row, as it’s a great application which allows users to share photos, not only on the Instagram app itself, but also on Facebook and Twitter.
Also, Instagram allows users to “edit” their photos by applying filters, which change the overall look and feel of the photo. Users can also select whether or not they want a “frame” around the photo, as well as some other features. \
Once a user has selected a filter for their photo (though, users are free to post a picture without having a filter or any editing at all), they can add and edit a caption for their photo, select whether or not they’d like to share it on Facebook or Twitter, as well as configure some other options for the photo. After that, all one needs to is post the photo and it’s available for everyone who’s following you to see! (However, you can choose not to announce a photo on Facebook or Twitter, if you’d rather not.)
One of the great features of Instagram is that it’s a social app, where users can follow other users and see what pictures they’ve been posting. Additionally, users can “like” or comment on others’ photos, which adds to the social aspect of this application.
4. Oink (iPhone)
Oink, by Milk, Inc., is a social “rating” application that just came out in 2011, and allows users to rate the things in the world around them, rather than just rating the places they have been to. For example, rather than rating a particular restaurant as having good food or being a great place to eat, Oink allows users to rate specific things at the restaurant, such as a specific dish or place to sit, or even the lighting!
Other users can then see what one has posted to Oink and what their thoughts were on the particular thing they rated, and can also add their own ratings and comments to the post. Users are also able to “Like”, “Love”, “Dislike”, etc. the variety of things that are rated, and additionally, users can choose to add something to their “To-Do” list, if they are interested in trying what they saw someone else post about.
Users can also choose to share their ratings and posting on both Facebook and Twitter, should they want to share their experiences with their friends who many not be using Oink or may not have an iPhone.
5. Tiny Tower (iPhone and iPad)
Tiny Tower, by Nimblebit, LLC., is a fun game, where users are in charge of building and running a tower filled with a variety of residences and businesses, as well as managing the citizens who happen to move into the tower and live in the residences.
Gameplay consists of ensuring that the various business and stores in the tower are stocked with the items or services that they carry or sell, as well as helping to move the tower’s guests or residents, called Bitizens, to the various businesses by use of an elevator, which the user can move up or down, to get the person to the correct floor, which is specified by the Bitizen in the elevator.
When a user accrues a certain amount of money, they are able to purchase more floors for their tower, building it higher, and adding to the number of residences or businesses that are available for Bitizens to use. However, after a new floor is added to the tower, the next floor’s price will increase, so a user has to save up more money to build it.
Additionally, stocking and restocking the businesses in a tower requires that a user use their coins to do so. Though, users can opt to purchase (with actual money) TowerBucks, which can be spent on much of the same things that regular coins can be, but, similar to FarmVille or CityVille, allow things to be completed or done faster than if a user were to strictly use coins.
TinyTower is a fun game with a 8-bit style user interface and doesn’t require that users play it for hours at a time. Because of the nature of TinyTower, with running businesses and such, users can choose to restock a product, etc., and come back later when it has run out, without having to sit around and watch the game run to do so.
6. Zombieville USA 2 (iPhone and iPad)
Zombieville USA 2, by Mika Mobile, Inc., is a fun game, where the user’s main task is to infiltrate a zombie infested city or town, and take out the zombies. In order to do this, the user is given a choice of a variety of weapons, including clubs, knives, guns, and grenades, though some weapons are only available after the user earns enough money in the game to purchase them.
Additionally, users are only allowed to carry three weapons at a time when they are fending off the zombies, which is a good thing, as occasionally, one or two of the weapons being carried can run out of ammo, causing the user to have to switch to their third weapon, whether it be another gun, a grenade, or a baseball bat (which doesn’t require ammo and doesn’t “run out”, like the other weapons do.)
The gameplay is pretty simple, with users using a “joystick” style control and three buttons, each in control of switching to and firing or using one of the three weapons that is being carried by the user’s character. Also, thoughout the level, users can find and shoot or hit boxes and other things (including mailboxes, signs, etc.), which may house money or extra ammunition, which can then be used to help the user purchase new weapons or to reload their current weapons.
Once the user has reached the end of the level, a helicopter comes down, thereby rescuing the user once they jump onto the ladder that is hanging from it. Then, a user will be notified of how much money they have made during the level, how many zombies they managed to kill, what their accuracy was, as well as some other information.
7. Powers of Minus Ten (iPhone and iPad)
Powers of Minus Ten, by Green-Eye Visualization, is an application that enables users to zoom into the human hand, in order to learn about biology and to see what goes on in the human body at the cellular and molecular level. Also, according to the app’s description on the iTunes App Store, the 3D content in the app is scientifically accurate, so users are able to get a real feel for what goes on in the human body.
Additionally, Powers of Minus Ten also features a “game” aspect, where users earn points and such for finding and identifying certain structures within the human body, including proteins, organelles, and more! There are also games that users can play, such as a matching game, in order to help them learn about processes, like Mitosis.
One great aspect of Powers of Minus Ten is that the graphics are great and can help students, or anyone interested in the human body or biology, view what perhaps microscopic structures and cells look like within the human body in an interactive way.
When viewing a particular section (or magnification level) of the hand, users are able to pan around and view where things are positionally, as well as what else may be going on or is located in that particular area.
Overall, Powers of Minus Ten is a great application, with some fun games included, which can help users view the human body in a way that perhaps they haven’t seen before, especially when it comes to the microscopic level.
8. Where’s My Water (iPhone and iPad)
Where’s My Water, by Disney, is a great puzzle game, where the object of the game is channel water from one area of the screen, to another, where an alligator named Swampy is waiting for the water to take a bath.
Where’s My Water starts off pretty simply, with users having to dig a path for the water to reach Swampy, but as the gameplay progresses, getting the water to Swampy’s bathtub begins to get more and more challenging, as different challenges are added.
For example, once the user reaches a certain level, switches are added to the puzzle, causing the user to have to channel water to a switch, in order to operate it and get water to Swampy’s bathtub. In some levels, there may even be more than one switch that has to be activated, in order to beat the level. However, some levels include a water spout, which allows users to turn on and add more water as they need it, so they don’t have to worry about wasting the water they may have started the puzzle with.
Where’s My Water is a fun puzzle application, which I personally liken to another iPhone application, Enigmo, involving getting water from one area to another, using a variety of different tools. If you’re interested in puzzles or challenges, perhaps you should check out Where’s My Water, by Disney. Additionally, this application is good for children, as well, as it features colorful graphics, and the fun of trying to get the water to Swampy so he can take this bath!
Which apps for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad did you enjoy using throughout 2011?
Thank you for reading this blog post, as well as the TechnicalCafe blog throughout the year! I hope everyone had a great 2011 and that everyone has a happy, healthy, fun, and safe 2012!
If you’ve been using computers for a while or have seen the Matrix movies, you have probably seen, or at least heard of something called “binary”, which consists of a variety of 0s and 1s, arranged in seemingly random patterns.
However, did you ever stop to think what those 0s and 1s mean and how they are arranged?
In order to understand what the binary number system is all about, it is a good idea to have an understanding of the number system that we use all the time in everyday life – the decimal, or base 10, number system.
In the decimal number system, we can represent things, such as the number of people in a room, the time, how many apps you have on your phone, as well as a whole array of other things. All of the quantities that were just mentioned are probably written using the numbers 0-9. Including 0, there are 10 numbers in the decimal number system, which is why it is called “base 10”.
These numbers can be arranged in any order to form other, larger or smaller numbers, depending on which “place”, or position, a particular number is in. For example, if you have the number 123, there are three places, the one’s place, ten’s place, and hundred’s place.
If we wanted to, we could represent 123 by raising 10 to the power of the position a particular number is in, starting at 0 and going from right to left and then multiplying that figure by whatever number is in the position.
For our “123” example, we can represent 123 as:
3*100 + 2*101 + 1*102
When these numbers are added and then combined, we will arrive at the original number of 123.
(3*1) + (2*10) + (1*100)
= 3 + 20 + 100
The same is true of the binary, or base 2, number system. However, unlike the decimal number system, there are only 2 numbers which are used in the binary number system, which, as you probably guessed, are 0 and 1.
In binary, rather than having each “place” or position raise in value by powers of 10, they raise in value by powers of 2.
If we have, for example, the number 1010, in binary, which, in order to prevent readers, as well as people converting from one base to another, from getting confused, we can represent by putting the value in parenthesis and adding a “2” subscript, simply to represent the fact that the number is in base 2 and not base 10 or decimal, or even some other base, we can figure out what it is equal to in decimal notation, by performing the same process as we did earlier.
(1010)2 = (x)10
(1010)2 = 0 * 20 + 1 * 21 + 0 * 22 + 1 * 23
= (0*1) + (1*2) + (0 * 4) + (1 * 8 )
= 0 + 2 + 0 + 8
= (10) 10
So, 1010 in binary is equal to 10 in decimal, or base 10, notation. Because of the fact that this conversion happens to only involve the numbers 0 and 1, the parenthesis help to prevent confusion between which base is which, as 10 in decimal can be converted to 2 in binary.
Now that we’ve learned a bit about the binary number system, what does this have to do with computers or technology?
Well, at the most basic level, computers do not understand letters, numbers, symbols, or even pictures as the symbols or colors that users see when typing or viewing them. Computers see these things as strings of 0s and 1s, which, to the processor or CPU, means “on” or “off”.
Also at the basic level, programming languages, such as C, C++, or Java, which are intended to make things easier for programmers, rather than having to input large strings of 0s and 1s, are complied into a language which the computer can understand, which is sometimes referred to as “machine code”.
Eventually, this code is read by the computer’s processor, or CPU, as a binary file, and the computer then follows the instructions in a language that it, rather than users or programmers, can understand.
So, the next time you see a movie or come across something that involves binary, hopefully now, you’ll be able to understand a little more about how things are converted to binary, as well as what binary notation is actually used for, in terms of computers and technology.
If you’d like to learn more about compilers and what they do and are used for, as well as other topics, you should check out CodeHelp.co.uk, which is where I got some of the information regarding compilers and what they do, included in this post.
Also, if you have a computer related question that you are curious about, or perhaps just a tech support question, please feel free to send me an e-mail, using the “Contact” page! You can also follow TechnicalCafe on Twitter (@TechnicalCafe), as well as me (@Jamiemcg), if you’re interested in what I’m up on on a day-to-day basis.