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Will new features make Windows Phone 8 more user and developer friendly

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source: On Wednesday, Microsoft provided a glimpse of the new Windows Phone 8 devices shipping this fall. GigaOm's Kevin Tofel noted recently in a blog post that the changes to come are precisely what Microsoft needs to help kickstart its Windows Phone sales. For users, increased personalization and features will be a major selling point. For developers, Kevin believes the shared core code between Microsoft's mobile and desktop platforms will result in not only better hardware choices, but also a stronger application ecosystem and unified experience among phones, tablets and Windows computers. VisionMobile, a
market analysis and strategy firm, recently surveyed developers and reported that nearly 60% said that they plan to develop for the Windows Phone platform. As you can see in the graphic below, there is a stronger interest amongst the developer community to develop apps for the Windows Phone platform than iOS and Android. Current Windows Phone 7 users and developers may be quite disappointed to learn that their devices will not be upgraded to the new OS; however, according to Paul Thurrott they will get a new start screen, tile customization, and a new method for receiving updates...(Read whole news on source site)

Smooth splash screen transition for Windows Phone panorama apps

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source: I was trying to finally get into some coding today and decided to create a simple stopwatch application for Windows Phone using the panorama control. However, as I'm much more comfortable with Photoshop, I immediately set out to create a good-looking splash screen for the app. I wanted an effect similar to what Apple recommends for iOS apps, which is using a mockup of the actual user interface as the splash screen to provide a seamless app-launching experience. Here's the result:   ...Read more

Using UDP sockets to connect a Windows 8 Metro style app to a .NET Micro Framework device: Part 3

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In this post, I show how to have bidirectional UDP communication: The Win8 Metro style app will send messages to the Gadgeteer device which responds with ACKs. This is part 3 in a series of posts about using sockets to communicate between Windows 8 Metro apps and a microcontroller. The rest of the series may be found here: Part 1: Simple UDP networking test from a Metro style XAML app Part 2: Setting up the Gadgeteer Endpoint and sending a message Part 3: This post About two-way communication UDP socket communication involves a pair of endpoints. Each endpoint is made up of an IP address and a port. In
my example, the addresses and ports are as shown in this graphic: When the Metro style app sends a message, it picks a port number. In the examples here, the port is 56553. The number itself isn't all that important, and isn't something you'd typically try to control. The destination port, however, is more important - it needs to be known. As long as the originator knows the destination port, you can have two-way communication, as the destination is informed of the originating port and IP with each message. In the previous posts, the communication was one way. In this post, I want to send a message to...(Read whole news on source site)

NMap 6.01

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NMap 6.01 has been released at

"Nmap ("Network Mapper") is a free and open source (license) utility for network discovery and security auditing. Many systems and network administrators also find it useful for tasks such as network inventory, managing service upgrade schedules, and monitoring host or service uptime. Nmap uses raw IP packets in novel ways to determine what hosts are available on the network, what services (application name and version) those hosts are offering, what operating systems (and OS versions) they are running, what type of packet filters/firewalls are in use, and dozens of other characteristics. It was designed to rapidly
scan large networks, but works fine against single hosts. Nmap runs on all major computer operating systems, and official binary packages are available for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. In addition to the classic command-line Nmap executable, the Nmap suite includes an advanced GUI and results viewer (Zenmap), a flexible data transfer, redirection, and debugging tool (Ncat), a utility for comparing scan results (Ndiff), and a packet generation and response analysis tool (Nping)."

Home page is at  Nmap is free to download and use. You can download the source and compile it yourself if you so require.

Using UDP sockets to connect a Windows 8 Metro style app to a .NET Micro Framework device: Part 2

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In this post, I show how to set up the UDP code on the Micro Framework side so it can listen to messages coming from the Windows 8 app. This is part 2 in a series of posts about using sockets to communicate between Windows 8 Metro apps and a microcontroller. The rest of the series may be found here: Part 1: Simple UDP networking test from a Metro style XAML app Part 2: This post The .NET Gadgeteer endpoint Currently, you need Visual Studio 2010 to develop .NET Gadgeteer projects. If you have a Gadgeteer (or other .NET Micro Framework device) you probably already know that. So, set up
a new .NET Gadgeteer Project named GadgeteerUdpDemo. Module setup As is typical, I've included the T35 display and the UsbClientDP modules in my circuit. The display is optional, but certainly helps for debugging or when you want to see the IP address on bootup. In addition, there's one MulticolorLed module and the ethernet module. The LED module is there to provide something for us to command, and the ethernet module is there to talk to the Windows 8 machine. We won't use the LED in this post, but will in this overall project. Setting the Gadgeteer device IP I set the IP in code as well as on the device....(Read whole news on source site)

Centering toastr with CSS and Media Queries

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Toastr was released almost 2 months ago and has had a nice response so far. We’ve kept it simple yet extendable and we’ve received a lot of good feedback over it. One interesting point we never explored was how customizable toastr already. Much of its appearance and behavior can be customized through CSS or JavaScript. For example, Hans and I provided 4 standard positions for the toastr messages in the 4 corners of the page, but you can change that too. Over in my original toastr post a reader asked a question about if it is possible to
center toastr’s messages at the top center. The answer is yes, and in fact you can position toastr however you like. The keys are to create some CSS to style the toast container and then set the toastr.options.positionClass property. All toastr messages appear in a container div, which means all toasts will stack up inside of it. Out of the box toastr offers 4 positioning settings with CSS class names. These are set to the toastr.options.positionClass property. Here is some possible CSS to style the toast at the top center.toast-top-center { top: 12px; ...(Read whole news on source site)

Charms and the App Bar

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Ok. I admit. I made a mistake in the last post about our planespotter app. I have dedicated a full part of the hub to Social. I also had a section called Friends but that made sense since I said that “Friends” is a special group of people that connect to each other through our app and only our app. Social however is sharing our spots with Twitter, Facebook and so on. Now, we could write that functionality in our app in a different section but there is one small problem with that: users don’t expect that.
Ok, I admit. The mistake was quite deliberate to give me an excuse to write this part. But still: the mistake is one I see a lot. People are trying to do stuff in their application that they shouldn’t be doing. This always strike me as slightly odd: why do some work when others have already done it for you and you can just use it? After all: good developers are lazy (lazy people will always try to find the easiest way to do something and in development land this usually means the cleanest and best to support way…) ...(Read whole news on source site)

Navigation in Win8 Metro Style applications

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In Windows 8, Touch is, as they say, a first class citizen. Now, to be honest: they also said that in Windows 7. However in Win8 this is actually true. Applications are meant to be used by touch. Yes, you can still use mouse, keyboard and pen and your apps should take that into account but touch is where you should focus on initially. Will all users have touch enabled devices? No, not in the first place. I don’t think touchscreens will be on every device sold next year. But in 5 years? Who knows? Don’t forget: if your
app is successful it will be around for a long time and by that time touchscreens will be everywhere. Another reason to embrace touch is that it’s easier to develop a touch-oriented app and then to make sure that keyboard, nouse and pen work as doing it the other way around. Porting a mouse-based application to a touch based application almost never works. The reverse gives you much more chances for success. That being said, there are some things that you need to think about. Most people have more than one finger, while most users only use one mouse...(Read whole news on source site)