sábado, 10 de setembro de 2011

Chevy offers new details on Camaro ZL1

Chevy offers new details on Camaro ZL1:

Chevrolet’s Camaro has been outshined by similar Mustang models in many enthusiast eyes since the 5.0 V8 returned to the Ford Mustang. The Camaro has also been without a model to counter the Shelby GT500 Mustang, but that has now changed with the introduction of the Camaro ZL1. The ZL1 is fitted with a 6.2L LSA V8 under the hood with 580hp and 556 lb-ft of torque. The car is also about more than raw power.

GM fitted the car with the track-capable high-performance fuel system and coolers on the engine, transmission, and rear differential cooler along with Magnetic Ride Control and a performance traction control option. Some aspects sound similar to Ford’s Boss 302 with the major exception that the Boss 302 is a naturally aspirated car. That supercharger that the ZL1 uses may be a hindrance on the road course though as power output diminishes as forced induction engines heat up thereby reducing the power and at times making the cars less consistent.

One thing that GM is using to lure in enthusiasts that are considering a Shelby GT500 Mustang is that the ZL1 will be offered with an automatic transmission. The GT500 is a manual transmission only car. The available transmissions in the ZL1 includes either a 6-speed auto or manual. The ZL1 engine also gets an oil cooler and the performance fuel system has an extra pickup to avoid fuel starvation when used in high-g track maneuvers. The traction management system also offers five levels with one including a launch control system for the track. Official pricing on the ZL1 is unknown.


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Chevy offers new details on Camaro ZL1 is written by Shane McGlaun & originally posted on SlashGear.
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Android Best Practices: StrictMode

Android Best Practices: StrictMode:

A recent update to the Android platform added a new class called StrictMode (android.os.StrictMode). This class can be used to enable and enforce various policies that can be checked for and reported upon. These policies generally include best-practice type coding issues, such as monitoring for actions done on the main thread that shouldn’t be and other naughty or lazy coding practices.

StrictMode has various policies. Each policy has various rules. Each policy also has various methods of showing when a rule is violated. We’ll define these first and then give a quick example of how they are used.

StrictMode Policies, Rules, and Penalties

Currently, there are two categories of policies available for use. One is the thread policy and the other is the VM (virtual machine, not to be confused with virtual memory) policy. The thread policy can monitor for:

  • Disk Reads

  • Disk Writes

  • Network access

  • Custom Slow Code

The first three items on this list are relatively self explanatory in how they are triggered. The fourth is triggered simply by a call you can make to the class. You’d do this from your own code that is known to be slow. The detection of policy violations happens when the calls are made on the main thread. For example, you might trigger the “slow code” violation each and every time your application downloads and parses a large amount of data.

The VM policy can monitor for the following issues:

  • Leaked Activity objects

  • Leaked SQLite objects

  • Leaked Closable objects

While the first two items are self explanatory, the third is a little less so. The leaked closable objects checker monitors for objects that should be closed, via a call to close() or the likes, before they are finalized.

Each policy also has a variety of different means for letting you know when a rule has been violated. Violations can be written to LogCat (useful for those slow code examples), stored in the DropBox (android.os.DropBox) service, or crash the application. In addition, thread policy violations can flash the screen background or show a dialog. All of these methods can be used to help you zero in and eradicate these application flaws.

Step 1: Enabling StrictMode

To enable and configure StrictMode in your application, you’ll want to use the StrictMode methods of setThreadPolicy() and setVmPolicy() as early in your application lifecycle as possible. When it comes to the Thread policy, which Thread it’s launched on matters, too (it watches for errors only on that thread, usually the main thread). A good place to set policies is at the entry points to your application and activities. For instance, in a simple application, you may need to just put the code in the onCreate() method of the launch Activity class.

The following code enables all rules on both current policies. A dialog is displayed whenever a Thread policy rule is violated.

StrictMode.setThreadPolicy(new StrictMode.ThreadPolicy.Builder()
StrictMode.setVmPolicy(new StrictMode.VmPolicy.Builder().detectAll()

You should not leave this code enabled in a production application. It is designed for pre-production use only. Instead, a flag can be used to conditionally turn on StrictMode or off.

Step 2: Running With StrictMode

An application in StrictMode behaves no differently than normal. Simply run through your application and test as you normally would. Performing an exhaustive test script that thoroughly exercises your application and touches the entire codebase with StrictMode enabled will likely provide you with the most useful results.

Here is an example of the LogCat output when we run a version of the TutList application with StrictMode enabled (all policies, all rules):

09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): StrictMode policy violation; ~duration=319 ms: android.os.StrictMode$StrictModeDiskWriteViolation: policy=31 violation=1
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at android.os.StrictMode$AndroidBlockGuardPolicy.onWriteToDisk(StrictMode.java:1041)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at android.database.sqlite.SQLiteStatement.acquireAndLock(SQLiteStatement.java:219)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at android.database.sqlite.SQLiteStatement.executeUpdateDelete(SQLiteStatement.java:83)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at android.database.sqlite.SQLiteDatabase.updateWithOnConflict(SQLiteDatabase.java:1829)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at android.database.sqlite.SQLiteDatabase.update(SQLiteDatabase.java:1780)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at com.mamlambo.tutorial.tutlist.data.TutListProvider.update(TutListProvider.java:188)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at android.content.ContentProvider$Transport.update(ContentProvider.java:233)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at android.content.ContentResolver.update(ContentResolver.java:847)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at com.mamlambo.tutorial.tutlist.data.TutListProvider.markItemRead(TutListProvider.java:229)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at com.mamlambo.tutorial.tutlist.TutListFragment.onListItemClick(TutListFragment.java:99)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at android.support.v4.app.ListFragment$2.onItemClick(ListFragment.java:53)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at android.widget.AdapterView.performItemClick(AdapterView.java:282)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at android.widget.AbsListView.performItemClick(AbsListView.java:1037)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at android.widget.AbsListView$PerformClick.run(AbsListView.java:2449)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at android.widget.AbsListView$1.run(AbsListView.java:3073)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at android.os.Handler.handleCallback(Handler.java:587)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at android.os.Handler.dispatchMessage(Handler.java:92)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at android.os.Looper.loop(Looper.java:132)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at android.app.ActivityThread.main(ActivityThread.java:4123)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at java.lang.reflect.Method.invokeNative(Native Method)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at java.lang.reflect.Method.invoke(Method.java:491)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at com.android.internal.os.ZygoteInit$MethodAndArgsCaller.run(ZygoteInit.java:841)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at com.android.internal.os.ZygoteInit.main(ZygoteInit.java:599)
09-04 16:15:34.592: DEBUG/StrictMode(15883): at dalvik.system.NativeStart.main(Native Method)

You can see this for yourself by adding the StrictMode code to Version Code 13 of TutList. Simply select a different item from the list.

What does this log tell us? The act of simply flagging a message as read should have been done off the main thread. Instead, it’s eating up a third of a second! Not only is that surprisingly slow, the effect on the UI is noticeable.

And here is what the warning dialog looks like:

Screen showing TutList with StrictMode violation

Step 3: Ignoring Some Policy Violations

Most warnings generated by StrictMode should be followed up on, but not all of the warnings generated mean that something is wrong with your code. There are plenty of situations where, for instance, you know a quick read from disk on the main thread won’t hinder the application noticeably. Or maybe you have some other debugging code that violates the rules that won’t be enabled in a production build.

The first way to ignore the policy violations is to document them for yourself or your team and list them as known violations. The second way is to explicitly add code to stop checking for a particular rule violation just before the offending code is executed and then re-enable detection for that rule after the offending code has completed. For instance:

StrictMode.ThreadPolicy old = StrictMode.getThreadPolicy();
StrictMode.setThreadPolicy(new StrictMode.ThreadPolicy.Builder(old)

This code saves off the current policy, creates a similar policy that ignores the disk writes violation, runs the code that does some disk writes, and then restores the original policy.


StrictMode is a useful class in the arsenal of diagnostic tools available to Android developers. Through it, developers can find and fix subtle performance issues, object leaks, and other hard-to-find runtime issues. Are you using StrictMode? Are there other policies you’d like to see added to this feature of the Android SDK?

About the Authors

Mobile developers Lauren Darcey and Shane Conder have coauthored several books on Android development: an in-depth programming book entitled Android Wireless Application Development, Second Edition and Sams Teach Yourself Android Application Development in 24 Hours, Second Edition. When not writing, they spend their time developing mobile software at their company and providing consulting services. They can be reached at via email to androidwirelessdev+mt@gmail.com, via their blog at androidbook.blogspot.com, and on Twitter @androidwireless.

Need More Help Writing Android Apps? Check out our Latest Books and Resources!

Buy Android Wireless Application Development, 2nd Edition Buy Sam's Teach Yourself Android Application Development in 24 Hours, Second Edition Mamlambo code at Code Canyon

According to Pete

According to Pete:

As some of you undoubtedly noticed, we didn't post the September edition of "According to Pete"yesterday because of the Labor Day holiday. However, you'll be happy to know we didn't forget - so here it is, "According to Pete."

In this episode, Pete heads back to SparkFun HQ to explore the wonderful world of OpAmps. It's a thrill-a-minute as Pete talks about voltage gain, using an OpAmp as a comparator, and so much more! Check it out - we hope you enjoy it!

This Week in the Digital Photography School Forums (4-10 Sep ’11)

This Week in the Digital Photography School Forums (4-10 Sep ’11):

Weekly Assignment

We finished up our Found Objects assignment this week. Some people really did well with noticing new things that they might not have otherwise noticed, and some people interpreted the concept in an interesting way. Our winners did both. We had a tie this week for first place between Obijuan and cristen. Obijuan interpreted the assignment in a rather creative way with his found broom. In this shot it’s really the expression on the girls’ faces that makes it. Not to mention a really well done shot overall.

Spin Broom

cristen spotted something that was unlikely to be noticed unless you were looking for it, and that was a small plant in the window panes. The contrast of the rust against the newness of the plant created a very nice shot.

Found on my window sill

And last, but not least was RC Nofrada‘s shoes on a wire. We’re all used to seeing birds on wires, but you don’t always see shoes there, and you especially don’t always see such new looking shoes! This was one of the shots that really matched the idea of found objects well and there’s a nice clear contrast between the blue and black.

Nicely done guys!

We started our Cameraphone assignment this week too. Lots of us have cameras in our phones these days, and it can be really helpful for when you don’t happen to have your main camera with you. We want you to show us how you can use your camera phone to prove that its’ the photographer, not the gear that makes a great shot and shoot with your camera phone this week. As always though, a quick reminder of our weekly assignment rules. First, your photo must have been taken between 31 August and 15 September 2011. Second, your post must include the words “Cameraphone Shots” and the date the photo was taken. Finally, your EXIF should be intact, and it’s useful if you can include some of the main points, such as camera, lens, shutter speed, and aperture.

Our next assignment will be Horizons. Next week we will be doing a landscape shot with particular emphasis on the horizon. I want you to make the horizon line the focus of your image. Cityscapes, mountains, lakes, oceans, treelines, all can make interesting horizon lines. Try using lighting – sunrise, sunset, or manmade – , contrast, reflections, and/or colour to bring attention to your skyline. And don’t forget to keep your horizons horizontal!

Post from: Digital Photography School's Photography Tips. Check out our resources on Portrait Photography Tips, Travel Photography Tips and Understanding Digital Cameras.


This Week in the Digital Photography School Forums (4-10 Sep ’11)

sexta-feira, 9 de setembro de 2011

The Top 7 Angry Birds Hints & Tips To Help You With Your Frustration

The Top 7 Angry Birds Hints & Tips To Help You With Your Frustration:

angry birds hintsEven though I love computer games, there’s a very good reason why I’m not keen on trying on new games. It’s because I love games too much that it’s hard for me to stop once I start playing. That’s why I try my best to resist every temptation that comes my way.

But if there’s a game that can lure me to start playing, it would be Angry Birds. Starting out as an iPhone game, it has now taken the world by storm with versions for the PC, the Chrome browser and three versions for Android. I helplessly gave in to the temptation as I had to know what all the fuss was about. Big mistake!

Stop The Frustration

Lo and behold, I’ve finished all the currently available worlds and collected all 26 Golden Eggs. But I’ve also lost many a good night’s sleep and was tempted to break a few things along the way. Believe me, the game can be very frustrating sometimes!

angry birds hints

I’m not an Angry Birds expert, but I’ve spent a good amount of time playing the game. So, here are a few general tips and hints to help you with your frustration in surviving the world of Angry Birds.

1. Spare The Time

angry birds tipsThis is the one thing that I know for sure – you need lots of spare time to play. I know people who needed tens of tries to pass one difficult level. I also know there are people who claim they’ve repeated a level hundreds of times just to get three stars and the highest score possible.

So make sure you have time to spare before you play, or don’t start playing at all. Having to stop before being able to finish a level will only make you even more frustrated.

2. Know Your Birds Well

We all know that every character in the game is unique, and knowing the personality of each one of them will help you a lot throughout the game. And I don’t only mean their special moves, but also their strengths and weaknesses.

For example, we can accelerate a Yellow Bird’s speed by tapping the screen while it’s still in the air. We can use this ability to reach difficult and far away places. The Yellow Birds are also strong against wood, so use them to break through wood structures. Black Birds are literally flying bombs so use them to smash through concrete structures.

angry birds tips

Another example, we know that one White Bird can drop one egg bomb, and we can use it to destroy something. But have you also noticed that the White Bird will accelerate up after dropping the bomb? We can use this acceleration to knock down another part of the pig structure.

angry birds tips

3. Try Different Angles – Literally

If your efforts to knock down the structure from one angle ended up in failure, try different angles. Don’t be afraid to hit the repeat button. Repeat the effort and learn from the mistakes. Don’t let the mistakes frustrate you.

angry birds tips and tricks

4. Observe The Environment & Take Notes

Continuing from the previous point, you can use the background environment to help locate the perfect “action point”.

For example, take note of the position of your finger (or mouse pointer) when you launch the bird. If the attack is successful, remember the position and move on to the next bird. Or take note of the bird position in the air when you tap the screen to activate its special move, so you can repeat it if necessary. This step really helps me every time I use the Boomerang Bird.

angry birds tips and tricks

5. Think Outside The Box

One of the fun things I found in the game is its creativity. You don’t always have to do everything by the book. For example, there are times when you simply use the White Bird to hit a part of the structure without having to drop the bomb. Or situations when you have to shoot the Boomerang Bird backward and let it curve in order to hit the otherwise unreachable target.

angry birds tips and tricks

6. Seek & You Shall Find

When you are stuck, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your friends are just a phone call away. Socializing is always a good way to take a break from the endless gaming hours. The Internet is also a wealthy place to find discussions, tutorials, and walkthroughs to help you overcome difficult levels. A quick search will give you plenty of links to visit, but my favorite places for my Angry Birds needs are Rovio’s YouTube Channel and AngryBirdsNest.

angry birds hints

7. Cross Your Fingers

Luck plays a heavy part in Angry Birds. Once in a while, you’ll make an unrepeatable lucky shot and are able to complete the level with flying colors.

I know. It’s weird to put “luck” as one of the tips to reduce the frustration level in playing games. But sometimes, luck is all it takes to put the smile back into your stressful and frustrated face. So, always keep your finger crossed throughout the game.

Don’t Get Angry, Have Fun

In the end, the one thing you have to remember is that this is just a game. It’s silly to get so worked up over a game so have fun. If the fun is taken out of the game, then there’s no point in playing it.

If you are also an Angry Birds fan, please feel free to share your own hints and tips, experience, anything, using the comments below. Do you have any favourite online sources for Angry Birds tips?

** Editor’s Note** : This is Jeffry’s last post for MakeUseOf.com, after 3 years. Please join me in wishing him all the very best for the future.

Harry Potter’s Resume

Harry Potter’s Resume:

Woe is the job candidate going up against Harry Potter for an open Auror position. Can you imagine walking into a room where a bunch of other applicants are waiting and spotting that famous scar? You might as well just turn around and go home. You’re not going to get the position. Maybe Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes is hiring.


Related posts:

  1. Harry Potters Sings “The Elements” Song
  2. Harry Potter and the Outcasts of Hogwarts [Video]
  3. Like a Horcrux – Harry Potter / G6 Parody

45 Years of Star Trek [INFOGRAPHIC]

45 Years of Star Trek [INFOGRAPHIC]:

On Sept. 8, 1966, the dream of producer Gene Roddenberry came true: The first regular episode of Star Trek aired, beginning one of the greatest sci-fi enterprises in history.

The series received mixed ratings throughout the first two seasons and was even temporarily pulled off the air after season three. During the next two decades, Star Trek bounced between animation, film and television, ultimately capturing the hearts and minds of millions of fans around the world.

If you’re a fan of the series, chances are you know most everything about it. Still, it’s always nice to get a refresher. Check out how the events in real-life space exploration influenced the popular series (and vice versa) in this nifty infographic below.

The entire history of Star Trek is in this SPACE.com timeline infographic.

Source: SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration

More About: infographic, Sci-Fi, Star Trek, television

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