On Our Radar This Week: Game Development, E-Commerce and Docker

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Welcome to On Our Radar, a weekly round-up of news, trends and other cool stuff from the world of web development.

Security is back in the news this week with the shocking revelation that Russian hackers have managed to amass 1.2 billion stolen web credentials. We also learned that a teenage (whitehat) hacker managed to pwn PayPal, bypassing its two-factor authentication system with ease and that nearly all free smartphone apps collect users’ personal data, which is kind of depressing.

In other news China continued its clampdown on US companies by banning iPads and MacBooks from government use, whilst Google announced that it is starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. Following the success of his top 10 tips for a happy life, Pope Francis urged young people not to waste time on internet (which made me glad to be old for once).

Also, Wikipedia chief Jimmy Wales entered the internet censorship row, claiming that Google should not be ‘censoring history’ and the @Congressedits Twitterbot, which tweets anonymous Wikipedia edits made from Capitol Hill, discovered one of its most substantial revisions.

Game Development

Game development has come a long way since the days of painstakingly typing a bunch of meaningless numbers from the pages of Your Sinclair into your ZX Spectrum. Nowadays, there are numerous frameworks available (such as the increasingly popular Phaser) which make it possible for normal people to program their own arcade games.

Here’s food for thought: I know modern-day games are becoming more and more realistic, but was surprised to hear that they can make some people hallucinate sound.


Today you can use the internet to buy all kinds of things from all corners of the world, but did you know that the world’s first ever online transaction was a drug deal? Here is a selection of tutorials to get you started (selling stuff that is, not dealing drugs):

If You’re App-y and You Know It

Worried your partner might be having an affair? There’s an app for that. Want to ditch your junk food habit? There’s an app for that, too. Want a nap at work without getting caught? You guessed it! Smartphones are ubiquitous and apps are everywhere. Here are some more app related links:

As you can see from my bio, when I’m not slouched in front of a PC, I love running. So, here’s a bonus list of ten of the best running apps for you like-minded souls.

Buzzword of the Week – Docker

A cartoon whale swimming just below the surface of the water, carrying ten containers on its back
Source: Docker

Docker is a tool to create and work with Linux Containers (LXC). These containers are extremely lightweight and allow you to run multiple isolated Linux systems from within your Linux host operating system. This makes Docker the perfect platform for developers and systems administrators to configure and deploy distributed apps with ease.

Bonus link: When WordPress Meets Vagrant: VVV (Vagrant is a VM manager and could be described as a competitor to Docker).

And that’s just about it for another week.

I’ll leave you with an amusing video I spotted of things you can’t do when you’re not a toddler (parents of young children should find this funny), as well as what one dad did to find out when his toddler was waking up.

Also, I keep plugging SitePoint’s forums as a friendly place to come discuss stuff you might read on the main site. Please be aware that big changes are coming and we want you to be part of them!

Now it’s over to you: Have you made a cool game you want to share? What apps can’t you live without? Has Docker revolutionized your workflow? Let us know and the conversation can begin.

James HibbardJames Hibbard
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Network admin, freelance web developer and editor at SitePoint.

appapp developmentDockerE-commercegame programmingnewson our radar
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