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Open Source PHP Usage Tops 244 Million Sites

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Thursday 31 January 2013 7:05 pm

phpFrom the ‘Open Source Language Rules’ files:

When I first started building websites in the late 90’s, PHP was my tool of choice. Though many things have change on the web since then, PHP’s popularity has not changed, it has grown.

A new report from Netcraft puts the current tally as of January 2013 for PHP sites on the web at a staggering 244 million sites. In context that’s nearly 40 percent of the 630 million total sites on the web today.

Why is PHP so dominant?

Well the most obvious answer is that most modern content management systems (including the one that powers this site) use PHP. The world’s most popular CMS systems including WordPress, Drupal and Joomla all use PHP.

The dominance of PHP will not change anytime soon, especially since CMS usage continues to grow.

As a language, PHP also continues to grow. My first exposure to PHP was with the 3.x branch and I spent many long days and nights struggling with PHP 4.x too. Today PHP 5.x dominates, which makes sense since PHP 5.0 was first released over 8 years ago. Though it wasn’t until 2008 that PHP 4.x was declared (mostly) dead.

So for all you aspiring developers out there, don’t get caught up in the hype around RoR or other ‘exotic’ web frameworks and languages, make sure you have a grounded understanding of PHP. You’ll certainly be in company with nearly half the web.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

2012 Holiday Season Ruled By Tablets

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Thursday 31 January 2013 7:05 pm
2012 Holiday Season Ruled By Tablets - PCs Not So Much

PC shipments dropped 6.4% in the fourth quarter of 2012, while tablet sales rose 75.3% in those three months. The two latest numbers from research firm IDC, taken together, confirm what now seems to be an inevitable trend in personal computing: Tablets are now driving the computer market, while PCs have to be content to follow. If these trends continue, in fact, it won’t be that long before tablets outsell PCs overall – just over a year or so, in fact.

IDC reported Thursday that the tablet market shot up at an almost unbelievable rate during the fourth quarter, as iPads and other tablets apparently became the gift to give and receive this holiday season.

Sun Setting On the PC?

Tablet sales not only spiked more than 75% from a year ago, to 52.5 million units, they grew 74.3% from the third quarter of 2012 – implying that some catalyst drove fourth-quarter sales in particular. IDC concluded that that spark was the Apple iPad mini, whose sales of 22.9 million units caused Apple tablet shipments to spike by 48.1%. However, the rising tide of Android tablets rose slightly higher over Apple’s head, as Cupertino’s market share dropped from 46.4% in the third quarter to 43.6%.

In a report released this month, IDC concluded that the “advancement of computing no longer starts and ends with the personal computer,” an acknowledgement of the now-accepted belief that the PC is has lost its primacy: that the personal computer is following the smartphone and tablet, rather than driving it.

One question is how much of Microsoft’s legacy in the PC is affecting sales of its Surface tablets. IDC reported that Microsoft sold fewer than 900,000 Surface RTs, the cheaper, ARM-based tablet that was released before the Surface Pro hits stores next month

Microsoft Surface “Failed To Gain Much Ground”

“There is no question that Microsoft is in this tablet race to compete for the long haul,” Ryan Reith, program manager for the Mobile Device Tracker program at IDC, said in a statement Thursday. “However, devices based upon its new Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems failed to gain much ground during their launch quarter, and reaction to the company’s Surface with Windows RT tablet was muted at best. We believe that Microsoft and its partners need to quickly adjust to the market realities of smaller screens and lower prices. In the long run, consumers may grow to believe that high-end computing tablets with desktop operating systems are worth a higher premium than other tablets, but until then [prices] on Windows 8 and Windows RT devices need to come down to drive higher volumes.”

For comparison, 900,000 tablets sold doesn’t even match the Barnes Noble Nook, which finished fifth with 1 million tablets sold. IDC estimated that the Nook sold 1.9% of all tablets sold, leaving Microsoft with about 1.7% of the total market. That’s bad news for Barnes Noble, whose sales dipped from 1.4 million units a year ago, and an indication that Amazon is clearly  winning the war between the two online book giants.

Still, it’s all small potatoes compared to the leaders: Apple (22.9 million units, 43.6% market share), Samsung (7.9 million units, 15.1% market share), Amazon (6.0 million units, 11.5%) and Asus (1.0 million units, 1.9%). You can see how each vendor has fared in IDC’s interactive historical chart, below. 

For now, PC sales still retain their handy lead over tablets: 89.8 million units versus 52.5 million units sold during the fourth quarter.

That probably won’t change right away, as the first and second quarters of the year are traditionally the industry’s slowest, so both PC and tablet sales numbers should return to earth. But over time, if the numbers hold, the number of tablets sold could pass the number of PCs sold as early as sometime in 2014. That’s because total tablet sales from 2011 to 2012 nearly doubled, from 68.7 million units to about 127.2 million units. PC sales should continue to drop, as they did from 363.9 million units in 2011 to 351.4 million units last year.

Winners And Losers?

Microsoft recently reported a record quarter, while Intel, the other engine of the PC market, reported a tidy $11 billion profit on $53 billion in revenues. But Intel’s outlook is fueled by a healthy server market, virtually the entire desktop and notebook space, as well as new entries in smartphones and tablets. In many ways, Intel and Microsoft are on parallel paths, trying to expand their traditional oligarchy: the PC. Intel is clearly succeeding: Microsoft’s path is less certain.

“As Windows 8 matures, and other corresponding variables such as ultrabook pricing continue to drop, hopefully the PC market can see a reset in both messaging and demand in 2013,” Jay Chou, an IDC analyst wrote earlier this month. It may be too late.

Google reportedly gives EU antitrust probe settlement offer

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Thursday 31 January 2013 11:05 am

Google was expected to submit a settlement proposal for the European Commission’s antitrust inquiry by the end of January. And, it looks like the Web giant just made the deadline.

According to AllThingsD, sources familiar with the matter said that Google turned in a detailed proposal earlier today. However neither Google nor the EC are confirming whether a settlement proposal was definitively submitted.

When asked about the settlement offer, a Google spokesperson told CNET, “We continue to work cooperatively with the European Commission.” The EC’s press office has not yet responded to CNET’s request for comment.

The EU’s antitrust probe was opened in 2010 when European regulators asked the company to explain how it ranked search results and advertising after complaints of anticompetitive behavior from European businesses. Throughout the course of the inquiry, Google has been trying to settle. Google faces a fine of up to 10 percent of its global revenue, or about $4 billion, if the commission finds it has violated European antitrust laws.

This case mirrors a similar probe in the U.S. that was brought by the Federal Trade Commission and settled earlier this month. Under the FTC’s settlement, a handful of companies may now choose to stop showing their results inside Google products like Google+ Local, Google Shopping, and Hotels. The search giant also agreed to voluntarily change the way it uses other Web sites’ data.

Despite the EC and Google not being forthcoming about whether a settlement proposal was submitted today, inside sources did tell AllThingsD that the purported agreement looks very similar to the FTC’s settlement. The main differences are that supposedly the EC agreement addresses better product labeling in search results but does not discuss patents.

Throughout both the U.S. and European Union probes, Google has denied any wrongdoing. In its agreement with the FTC, the company maintained its stance that it has done nothing wrong. According to AllThingsD, the EC settlement proposal will likely contain similar language.

Even if Google did submit a proposal today, it’s still unclear whether the EC will accept it.

HP Serviceguard Brings Fault Tolerance and Disaster Recovery to Linux

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Wednesday 30 January 2013 10:37 am

At its core, Serviceguard is clustering software for high availability (HA) and disaster recovery. It’s a software solution that HP supports with professional services.

“We’re seeing an increasing demand for critical application workloads on Linux,” Kate O’Neill, Director, Global Product Marketing and Programs, Business Critical Systems, at HP, told ServerWatch. “Customers are looking for HP to help fortify Linux and make it more similar to HP-UX in terms of the mission-critical experience.”

O’Neill noted that HP’s strategy is about bringing the expertise and innovations that have been developed to support HP-UX to help Linux. Serviceguard for Linux is an example of that strategy.

The first release of Serviceguard for Linux debuted in June of 2012 and was updated in December. Serviceguard provides fast failover and protection for Linux servers. The December update extended Serviceguard to support SAP running on Linux and added support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Serviceguard previously only supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Read the full story at ServerWatch:
HP Extends Serviceguard to Linux

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Cash In Your Old Blackberry At uSell.com

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Wednesday 30 January 2013 6:30 am
Cash In Your Old Blackberry At uSell.com

This post is sponsored by uSell, a price-comparison website that helps you find the best price when it’s time to sell your BlackBerry, smartphones, and other used electronics. Find reputable buyers for your used devices on uSell. #sellblackberry

If you’re a BlackBerry user, you’re no doubt looking forward to the release of Research In Motion’s new Blackberry 10 operating system on January 30 – and the slick new smartphones associated with it.

Options For Your Existing Device

But what are you going to do with your old Blackberry?

You could keep it in a drawer as a backup, or maybe recycle it – but that’s leaving up to $200 on the table, which could be enough to pay for your new Blackberry 10 device, if you’re signing a 2-year deal.

There are tens of millions of Blackberry users around the world, and they’d love to take that Bold or Curve off your hands. The trick is how to sell it for a fair price without going nuts. That’s where uSell.com comes in. It can do the grunt work of finding the deal and securing your payment for you. 

Most providers will accept trade-ins toward your new phone, but like car dealers, they won’t give you what you could make on the open market. For example, an unlocked Blackberry 9790 is worth $90 to Sprint Buyback. That same phone, in used condition, fetches $120 to $200 on eBay.

The extra cash makes eBay a popular choice, and you can certainly put your phone up for auction, but there are no guarantees. You might pick the wrong price. Phone values change every day, and last week’s closing bids may be way off the mark by now.

You might not reach the right buyer at the right time. In fact, since Blackberry is so strong overseas, the best buyer may be on the other side of the world. Even if your phone sells, you’ll still have to cope with flaky buyers, packing and shipping, and processing fees. If you just want to get paid and get on with enjoying your new phone, auctions can be a dicey bet.

That’s why many people skip the auctions and sell their old phones to a reseller. Resellers quote you a fixed price, paid out when they receive the phone and confirm its condition. Resellers are faster and simpler than auctions, so you can get on with enjoying your new phone, but they raise their own questions. Can you trust them to pay? Could you have found a better deal somewhere else? Resellers are a step in the right direction, but they aren’t perfect.

uSell.com Helps Find The Right Reseller For You

Enter uSell.com, a reseller metasearch. uSell partners with dozens of resellers and gives you the tools to make the best decision for your situation.

The selling process is simple. Select your carrier (or choose “unlocked”), select your phone and choose your phone’s condition. uSell returns a list of guaranteed offers from participating resellers, which you can sort by price, user reviews and overall match. Once you choose a reseller, just fill out a form and hit Submit.

Since uSell searches a variety of sources, the prices are exremely competitive. For the 9790 mentioned above, uSell offered quotes ranging from $31 to $135, all with free shipping. uSell manages the entire process, from shipping to payment, and guarantees the quality of all participating resellers. It’s easier and safer than rolling the dice on an auction, and you know you’re getting the best possible price from a reseller.

Of course, if you don’t have a Blackberry to sell, you can still cash in. uSell will also find you the best reseller deal for other cell phones, iPods and even your old game consoles.

Google patent points to multi-flash smartphone camera

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Tuesday 29 January 2013 10:30 pm

Google has been granted a patent for LED technology that could be used to boost smartphone camera capabilities.

This image shows how Google would ring the camera lens with LED lights.


Patent 8,363,157, granted yesterday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, documents how LED lighting could be used to give a mobile device the ability to fire with multiple flashes.

Relating to “flash mechanisms for digital cameras that are incorporated into mobile communication devices such as smartphones and
tablet computers,” the patent documents how a smartphone’s shots could be improved by boosting flash capabilities.

As shown, one hypothetical design for the LEDs would ring the LED lights around the lens, where they could be selectively used in different conditions to take the best picture possible. Google’s patent notes that different setups could be used to ensure that the flash modules could individually activate, be triggered at the same time, or used individually to remove particular shadows in poor lighting. It may also be possible to take pictures in succession to shoot the same image with different light settings.

In addition to rapid-fire shots, Google takes dynamic range imaging into consideration. The possibility of high dynamic range imaging is in the cards, as a phone could take a series of shots and then merge them together to create the best image possible. The patent says that “such images may appear to have greater color, contrast, or depth than a regular single image of the group would have.”

(Via Unwired View)

Global Broadband Speed Peaks at 15.9 Mbps in 3Q12

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Tuesday 29 January 2013 10:06 am

The lastest Akamai State of the Internet report is now out providing insight into broadband speeds and adoption.

For the third quarter of 2012, the Global Average Peak connection speed was reported at 15.9 Mbps, which is a 36 % year-over-year gain. On a sequential basis, average peak connection speeds actually declined by 1.4 percent in the third quarter from the second quarter. The highest peak speed globally was reported in Hong Kong at 54 Mbps.

The global average connection speed during the third quarter was 2.8 Mbps, for 11 percent year-over-year growth. Though as was the case with peak connection speed, there was a sequential decline from the second to the third quarter of 7 percent.

While globally Akamai reported sequential declines and year-over-year gains for average connection speeds, the story in the U.S. is different. In the third quarter of 2012, the average broadband speed in the U.S was 7.2 Mbps, up by 20 percent year-over-year and 8.8 percent over the second quarter.

Average peak connection speed in the U.S came in at 29.6 Mbps for a 25 percent year-over-year gains and 9.3 percent on a sequential basis.

Read the full story at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet:
State of the Internet Speeds Up in 3Q12

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

What Will Follow OpenStack Grizzly into the Open Source Cloud?

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Monday 28 January 2013 5:54 pm

openstackFrom the ‘Open Source’ naming files:

One of the interesting idiosyncrasies of open source projects can communities is the desire to choose release names – often following some kind of logical (alphabetical in some cases) order.

The open source OpenStack cloud platform is no stranger to alphabetical releases.

The first named release of OpenStack that I wrote about was Bexar back in February of 2011. That was followed by Cactus in April of 2011, Diablo in September of 2011, Essex in April of 2012 and most recently Folsom in September of 2012.

Folsom will be followed by Grizzly but what follows Grizzly?

That’s what the OpenStack community is voting on this week.

We know that it has to be an ‘H’ name and the Technical Committee at OpenStack has narrowed it down to four possibilities:

Hood, Havana, Harbor or Hatfield

Yeah they’re all places.

“Codenames are cities or counties near where the corresponding OpenStack design summit took place,” the OpenStack wiki states. “An exception (called the Waldon exception) is granted to elements of the state flag that sound especially cool. “

The Waldon exception is the reason why Grizzly is called Grizzly and not the San Diego release. The Grizzly is an element of the state flag of California, the state in which the most recent design summit took place. Votingon the ‘H’ name for OpenStack closes tomorrow – on January 29th.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Is Facebook Down? Facebook Affected By Regional Outage

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Monday 28 January 2013 5:54 pm
Is Facebook Down? Facebook Affected By Regional Outage

We’ve grown to know Twitter’s fail whale pretty well at this point – and Tumblr seems down half as often as it’s up… but Facebook? Facebook doesn’t just go down – not often, anyhow. 

As of 5:15 p.m. Pacific time or so, Facebook isn’t loading for some users – ourselves included (we’ve confirmed the outage with Downrightnow and a handful of other downtime monitoring sites).

We’ve reached out to Facebook to see what regions might see their Facebook access disrupted and what the possible cause of might be. In the mean time, you’ll have to poke and like in the real world – that or tweet, pin, +1 or tumble for a little bit. 

Here in Portland, Oregon we’re experiencing the service disruption, but anecdotal reports suggest that San Francisco is unaffected at the moment. Is Facebook down for you? Let us know where you are and what you’re seeing. 

Marissa Mayer’s plan to rewire Yahoo

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Monday 28 January 2013 9:54 am

Google VP Marissa Mayer speaks at LeWeb.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer

Stephen Shankland/CNET)

After six months at the helm, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer can claim a small victory. The company showed revenue growth for the first time in 4 years, up 2 percent year-over-year. However, Bloomberg’s poll of analysts was looking for a 3 percent revenue boost from the year-ago quarter.

Nonetheless, Yahoo’s fourth-quarter financial results indicate that Yahoo isn’t going backward. Since Mayer’s appointment, Yahoo’s ratings have improved — the stock price is up more than 30 percent and the cloud hanging over employee moral has largely dissipated. In fact, according to Mayer, 95 percent of Yahoo’s employees are now optimistic about the company’s future.

Six months into the job, Mayer has sprung for free food worldwide, ditched the BlackBerry, instituted weekly company update meetings, recruited ex-Googlers, revamped sales, launched flagship products including Yahoo Mail and Flickr, and signed deals with top content providers, such as NBC Sports and Wenner Media.

But Mayer’s most important job is to articulate a vision of what Yahoo can be beyond what she has described as giving “end users something valuable and delightful that makes them want to come to Yahoo every day.” That mission statement is not different from that offered by her many CEO predecessors at Yahoo.

Yahoo’s iconic San Francisco billboard that no longer exists.

Daniel Terdiman/CNET)

A year ago, then Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson said the company needed to improve the user experience for its 702 million monthly visitors with better interfaces, faster speed, and deeper, more relevant content, and deliver better results for advertisers.

Like every other company making its living on the Internet, Mayer is placing mobile at the center of her product strategy. Yahoo currently has 200 million unique monthly users on mobile devices, Mayer said, and this is just the first phase of a shift to mobile.

In an interview with Bloomberg’s Erik Schatzker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland last week, Mayer predicted that Yahoo will be one of — if not the — predominant platforms in the mobile era. She indicated that Yahoo was well positioned with its comprehensive content and mobile apps for email, weather, news, sports, financial information, games and photos.

“The nice thing at Yahoo is that we have all the content that people want on their phones. We have these daily habits,” Mayer said. “I think whenever you have a daily habit and providing a lot of value around it, there is opportunity to not only provide that value to the end user but to create a great business.”

The idea to focus Yahoo on mobile and social echoes how Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang described the future of the Web portal five years ago.

“At Yahoo we want to be most essential starting point for your life,” and “take the complexity of the Web and simplify your life through very powerful technologies,” Yang said. Yahoo would be rewired from the inside out, providing developers access to Yahoo assets that would make the consumer experience deeply social and personal.

Yang and his successors weren’t able to achieve that goal, but Mayer appears ready to take on the task of completely rewiring Yahoo, optimizing its content for mobile devices, baking in social and location services, and utilizing deep personalization to improve the user experience and monetization potential.

“With the Web becoming so vast, there’s so much content and there’s so much social context, and now with mobile, there’s so much location context and activity context,” Mayer said in her interview at Davos. Yahoo’s role is to provide “a feed of information that is ordered, the Web is ordered for you and is also on your mobile phone.”

“In the future you become the query, using profile input to inform the result,” she added.

On the social and search front, Mayer said that key partnerships will bring “a lot of strength to bolster what is on Yahoo side,” which includes industry leading news, sports and finance content sites.

Speaking to analysts after the earnings report today, Mayer cautioned that achieving more substantial growth will take multiple years to achieve. It’s another way of saying don’t expect Yahoo to generate revenue on the scale of Google, Apple, or Facebook as its mobile advertising gets rolling. But Mayer’s effort to rewire Yahoo and reinvent the notion of an Internet portal could have a big payoff. As she said signing off from the earnings call: “The best is yet to come.” Time will tell.

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