Archive for October, 2007

Microsoft Pays $240 Million for 1.6% of Facebook

October 25, 07 by kenrich

FacebookYesterday, Microsoft paid $240 dollars for a 1.6% stake of the social networking site Facebook. Ever since the success of MySpace, social networking sites have been the new investment darlings. The estimated company value is derived from companies such as Google, whose value is largely based on the large audience of web surfers it draws.

Social networking has been growing at an exponential rate. Initially made popular by teens in high school and students in college, it has grown to encompass all demographics. It has also been helped by the popularity of blogging, and to a lesser extend, Wikipedia. Many schools have configured their Internet filters to block these social networking sites because their systems are intended for educational purposes and not socializing.

Given the price paid by Microsoft, the total estimated worth of Facebook would be around $15 billion dollars. Not bad for a company started by a 23 year-old only 3 years ago. The application that Facebook has built is simple and easy-to-learn. It makes it easy for anyone to create a profile and connect with their friends. Although instant messaging and e-mails also accomplish the same goals, there is something special about putting yourself out there for the whole world to see.

Part of the deal that Microsoft made with Facebook allows them to partner on advertising displayed on the site. Microsoft will manage the ads and split the profits 50/50 with Facebook. This is a pretty sweet deal for Facebook, since the Microsoft advertising machine can get some high paying clients and allow Facebook to focus on serving their community. Only time will tell if Facebook can stay on top – if the history between Yahoo and Google is any indication, being the first to market is not the most important criteria for success.

Code Igniter PHP Framework

October 25, 07 by kenrich

Code Igniter PHP FrameworkAfter reading some discussion on the PHP mailing list, I noticed a lot of people were recommending the Code Igniter framework. So I decided to do myself a favor and go check it out. Code Igniter is a very lightweight PHP framework for building web applications.

So far, I’ve just been reading the documentation to get a feel for how it works. It has some nice URL rewriting features to help your site rate well in the search engines. It also uses a lot of object-oriented methodologies to manage code modules. I really like the fact that it comes with a lot of helper classes to do common things like build HTML code. This was one thing I had built into my own framework.

It uses a helper class to access the database as well. I’m not sure if this is beneficial or not because there appears to be some limitations in how you can use it.

Some people think that PHP is not ready for the enterprise because it lacks the backing of a major corporation and doesn’t have the support that some of the big players have. I have been developing for over 3 years now and I can tell you that’s just not the case.
If you are just starting out in PHP, I think the Code Igniter framework like this is just the ticket to get you started creating powerful web applications. Of course, a knowledge of MySQL database would definitely be a major plus.

San Diego Fire Storm 2007

October 23, 07 by kenrich

As you probably know, yesterday was one of the worst days for the San Diego firestorm. Our area was evacuated in the afternoon as a precaution. The fire has burned more than 130,000 acres and more than 1000 homes have burned down in the San Diego area alone. Our house was not affected since we were lucky and not in the path of danger.

My parents who live in Poway were nearly hit by the Witch fire which went through Poway. The firefighters did an excellent job of controlling the fire (as much they could due to the Santa Ana conditions we have here.) I’m looking forward to all of the fires being out soon. I hope this is the last of the big fires. Like most of the other areas of the country, San Diego has been experiencing a drought. We sure could use some rain in this area.

I’m looking forward to things getting back to normal. I should be going back to work tomorrow (barring any drastic change in the fire.) I need to catch up on a few projects that I left unfinished.

Welcome to Our New Blog

October 18, 07 by kenrich

Wordpress LogoI decided to move my blog to a new software. I switched from Movable Type to WordPress which seems to be the most popular browser these days. Maybe I’ll get back into writing more articles on the site. Recently, I’ve been pretty busy and just letting the whole blogging thing slide. I don’t have a large readership after all. This re-designed blog also represents a change in hosting to a load-balanced host with an enterprise-quality database back end.

Since I do need to keep on top of things, I really should be familiar with the most popular blogging platform. At least it is the most popular if you are going to host your blog yourself and not pay for a service like bloggger.com. Plus,

Another benefit is that this type of blog (with the theme I have installed) should make the entries much more readable. By that I mean the size of the text and the whitespace to format the articles is easier on the eyes. It may be rather boring to look at, but if you are a technical person like myself, you won’t really care too much for the frills and cutting-edge design.