Welcome to the April 2010 DaniWeb Digest


It's amazing, and more than a little bit humbling, to think that in the April DaniWeb Digest only last year we were giving ourselves a pat on the back for having hit the half a million registered members landmark when, just 12 short months on, the DaniWeb community has now grown to fast approaching three quarters of a million members! One of the newest is also the latest person to join the full time staff here at DaniWeb, taking up the position of PR Director and Editor-in-Chief. Please welcome Eyal Akler to our community, and wish him all the best in this demanding role. Not that he will need it, of course, having already made a great impact in the world of IT business. You may not recognise the name, but Eyal has exerted a direct influence on the design of modern gaming PCs by working closely with the likes of AMD, ATI, Intel and nVidia in designing and building some of the first true 3D gaming machines through his company, Hypersonic. More recently enjoying success with Commodore as North American CTO & EVP, he's now joined us here at DaniWeb where he can continue to spread a little of that Eyal magic.


By the time you read this April 1st will have been and gone for another year, but the online prank postings will remain. So we thought it would be cool to present our very own round up of the top five IT related April Fools' Day pranks of 2010, just in case you missed any of them:


Lexmark, the printer manufacturer, claimed to have invented invisible ink. Who would buy into that you might be wondering, well Lexmark had the answer in true April Fools' so stupid it could almost be true fashion: those wanting to print confidential information such as law enforcement agencies, government special forces and home users concerned about privacy.


Google reckoned it had changed its name to Topeka. The reason? SWell, Google claimed that the mayor of Topeka, Kansas had taken the decision to change the name of the city to Google and this was the search giant's way of acknowledging that move. There was also the announcement YouTube that it was starting a text-only mode. A spokesperson explained that by "replacing the images in the videos with a series of letters and numbers the videos are far less taxing on our system."


Opera, developers of the well known alternative web browser client, insisted that it has developed a really alternative version of the browser: Opera Space Edition. As the name suggests, Opera informed me through an official press release, this edition of the client was being produced for use in, erm, space. In order to convince the wary, an Opera spokesperson added that it not only supports the Interplanetary Network Transport Protocol (INTP) for a stable connection at extreme distances, but would also operate efficiently in a vacuum.


Security vendor Sophos distributed a press release which claimed its SophosLabs research team had discovered a novel, quite literally, method of preventing hackers from breaking into your networks. Called 'Protection through Distraction' the system used strategically placed chunks of romantic fiction text in website source code and on servers. It did also warn that the bad guys were already developing Anti-Romance Scanners though...


Virgin Media, one of the largest broadband Internet Service Providers in the UK, announced it was speeding up delivery of its fibre broadband service by employing highly trained ferrets to lay cabling and save both time and money in having to dig up the roads in rural areas.


Please welcome our newest member of the DaniWeb hall of fame, jonsca who has been a member of the DaniWeb community since September 2009, during which time he has made quite an impact here. With a posting average of 10 per day, he's clocked up more than 2000 posts already. By far the majority of them are in the C++ forum, with plenty popping up in the C# and C forums for good measure. However, jonsca is one of those conscientious members who 'does the right thing' and diligently reports bad posts such as spam or those posted to the wrong forum, so many of posts are hidden from view to all but moderators and admins in the reported posts forum. Highly deserving then of a Featured Poster badge and entry into the DaniWeb Hall of Fame, let's find out what makes jonsca tick.

Where are you from and where do you live now?

Connecticut, United States and same for the time being.

How old are you?

I'll be (1 << 5) by the time you read this, that's 32 if you are not into C/C++/Java by the way, which means I'm pretty old. I'm not nearly old enough to remember TECO, though.

What is your current occupation, and have you ever done anything unusual in the past?

Currently I'm in between gigs. I've done some grad work interspersed with work work over the past decade and I'm trying to settle into something that encompasses all my interests. My academic background is actually in the biological sciences and biomedical engineering.

What is your favorite computer OS?

I have been a Linux user occasionally but for the most part I've stuck to Windows. It tends to get bulkier and bulkier with each new release, though. I've shunned Macs for most of my life but I'm coming around to their good qualities. I'm currently using a laptop but I like the power and extensibility of a good desktop or, even better, a cluster of them!

What first brought you to DaniWeb?

I was seeking the answer to a C# question related to an exercise from a book. I had run into the site multiple times when doing net searches about other problems and I started to really like the format.

What makes you stay here?

After my question was answered I continued to follow C# but I branched out into the C++ forum. After reading threads for a few weeks, a few of the posts made me think, "I could answer that
question" and so it began. I still enjoy reading through and helping out in C# and I'm currently refreshing my C from a long time ago. I stay because I like helping and the learning associated with it. I definitely don't know all the answers and I enjoy the thrill of the hunt, so to speak, learning what I can about the subject matter in the process. There's so many concepts I had no clue about 7 months ago and now I feel like I know them pretty well (or at least know what I don't know, you know?).

What is your favorite forum and why?

C++ by a long shot. Probably about 80-85% of my posts are there. I like it because it brings out a diverse set of programming problems. You've got college (and even high school) folks writing their first programs, people doing algorithms + data structures, all the way to mad Linux geniuses doing systems stuff and beyond (in all fairness I enjoy that variety in C also but I consider C++ more of my "home" forum).

What are your interests outside of IT and outside of DaniWeb?

Personal interests are following TV (I like the forensics shows, so just about anything on CBS) and watching DVDs. I'll admit I'm a few years behind on movies and trying to catch up. I like a lot of sitcom DVDs, especially classics like Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. I like to read a lot, especially Steve Berry. He mixes together fiction and history flawlessly and I haven't found a bad book in the lot (I'm a couple of books behind but I expect more of the same).

Name the best thing about DaniWeb, and one thing you would change if it were in your power?

The best thing is all of the moderators/supermoderators/exmoderators/exsupermoderators/team
members/administrators that make this site great. I'm in awe of the tremendous amount of experience and knowledge that all of them bring to the table (and some with their ability to recite the standards documents by rote). All of them have very distinct personalities which blend together and make the whole thing work. I should certainly mention the "regulars" (too numerous to list but they know who they are) who also offer a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience. For changes, I've shared some ideas here and there...I'd like it if a subset of students were less compelled to drop their homework off as if this were a service but I've never been able to come up with a concrete mechanism which would deter such activity. If given a second wish, I know that Dani is always working tremendously hard on the site, so I would give her some vacation time if it were up to me.

Any fascinating facts about yourself that you would like to share with the DaniWeb community?

I have a tortoise for a pet. She is a lot of fun and consumes lots of fruits and vegetables.

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