Like any scripting language, PHP can be used in a variety of applications. The down-side for most programmers is that when they learn how to write PHP, they do not always learn how to write PHP with speed and optimization in mind. This article addresses most common ways you can improve your code with minor changes that will yield large gains as well as teach you how to become a better PHP developer.


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There’s no power outlet, land-based internet connection or even a decent cell signal in sight, yet we’re posting this live, at fast broadband speeds. We’re miles deep into Camp Pendleton, connected to ViaSat’s SurfBeam 2 Pro Portable mobile satellite transceiver and sending data to and from ViaSat-1 located more than 20,000 miles above our heads. SurfBeam 2 wasn’t designed for us to kick back and surf the web in the middle of nowhere at speeds that we could barely achieve while tethered to a cable connection just a few years ago, but we’re doing just that, with ViaSat’s roughly $20,000 go-anywhere satellite broadband rig. We first heard about Pro Portable last month at CES, which the company is marketing towards military, emergency management personnel and even broadcasters — that’s right, the sat truck of the future fits inside a hand-carry suitcase, and sends HD video from the world’s most remote locations right back to broadcast centers at record speed, nearly eliminating that lag that makes certain CNN reports painful to watch.


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About a year ago, a micromouse managed to negotiate a maze in under five seconds. At the 2011 All Japan Micromouse Robot Competition in Tsukuba, the micromouse pictured above shaved an entire second off of that time, completing the maze in a scant 3.921 seconds. That’s fast.


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Go easy on the gas, Speed Racer, because Cordon is on its way. Developed by Simicon, this new speed sensor promises to take highway surveillance to new heights of precision. Unlike most photo radar systems, which track only one violator at a time, Simicon’s device can simultaneously identify and follow up to 32 vehicles across four lanes. Whenever a car enters its range, the Cordon will automatically generate two images: one from wide-angle view and one closeup shot of the vehicle’s license plate. It’s also capable of instantly measuring a car’s speed and mapping its position, and can easily be synced with other databases via WiFi, 3G or WiMAX. Plus, this device is compact and durable enough to be mounted upon a tripod or atop a road sign, making it even harder for drivers to spot. Fortunately, though, you still have time to change your dragster ways, as distributor Peak Gain Systems won’t be bringing the Cordon to North America until the first quarter of 2012. You will find a footage of a field trial that’s currently underway inside. Cars tagged with a green dot are travelling below the speed limit, those with a yellow marking are chugging along within an acceptable range above the limit, while vehicles with a red tab are just asking for trouble.


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We’d assume a sizable share of fans may consider themselves God’s gift to road navigation, but that hasn’t stopped TomTom launching a special edition Top Gear flavor of its GPS device. Navigation is narrated by the voice of Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson, directing clueless drivers “with the aid of 32 satellites… and me.” The in-car navigation unit is priced at $269.95, including a one-year subscription to traffic updates and incident reports from TomTom. Alongside Clarkson’s familiar tones are some extra Top Gear car icons and Stig mode, where the GPS will remain entirely silent. It’ll also point out race tracks featured in the show, plus any nearby speed cameras. With its main man behind you, how could you possibly lose your way?


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For the fans of (big, small, stealth, loud) guns this compilation will bring many joy. The playlist is created on Discovery Channel’s site, and includes the most memorable clips from the “Suns of Guns” TV series. It includes videos from shooting knifes, silenced AK-47s, triamese M16, exploding arrowheads, M1919 to heavy artillery such as canons and Katushas. Please enjoy responsibly.


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Intel Corp. is yet again repeating the “upgrade card” strategy, which it first employed with the Nehalem G6952 CPU. Intel has announced new $50 upgrades for three Sandy Bridge series processors — the 2.6 GHz 2 core/2 thread G622, the 3.1 GHz 2 core/4 thread i3-2102, and the 2.1 GHz 2 core/4 thread i3-2312.

The upgrade buys you an undisclosed increase in clock speeds (and in the i3-2312′s case, increased cache as well). All in all, this nets you around a 15 percent average performance bump.


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Luca di Montezemelo

As saucy as some of them may be, today’s electric car is definitely a novelty. Still, it’s not too hard to imagine a future where the majority of autos run on electrons — whether they’re pushed from batteries or hydrogen fuel cells. Not everybody’s down with that idea, and one of those EV detractors is the incredibly suave Ferrari president Luca di Montezemelo. We recently had a chance to chat briefly with the man who said — in no unequivocal terms — that there is no electric Ferrari coming:

You will never see a Ferrari electric because I don’t believe in electric cars, because I don’t think they represent an important step forward for pollution or CO2 or the environment. But, we are working very, very hard on the hybrid Ferrari. This should be the future, and I hope in a couple of years you can see it.

So what’s next for the brand of the prancing horse? A hybrid, of course, which will be more Porsche 918 than Toyota Prius. Still, ruling out EVs in the future seems perhaps a bit… restricting, but keep in mind Luca did say this was only his policy.


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Kudos to the IEEE for rushing this new ‘super WiFi’ standard through so very speedily for the sake of rural communities with poor web access. Designated IEEE 802.22, it promises to bring speeds of up to 22Mbps to devices as far as 100km away from the nearest transmitter. How’s that possible? Well, the standard carefully exploits swathes of unused white space within transmission bands that were originally reserved (and jealously guarded) for analogue TV. These frequencies currently contain nothing but hiss and occasional communications from dead people, but one day they could and should be filled with the hopes, aspirations and Facebook updates of country folk who are very much alive. Full PR inside.


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Traditional hard disk drives or HDDs, have moving parts that take time to get from point A to point B. Think of them aa Cassette tape, it takes time to get from the part of the song you were listening to, to the part you want to be at. While a HDD is many times faster than a cassette drive they are both loosely based on the same magnetic recording technology. Unlike a Cassette, a hard disk platter can spin up to 170 MPH to find the appropriate information you are looking for. This can vary based on the number of rotations per minute or RPM that the platter can do (between 3,000 all the way up to 15,000 for high performance servers). To improve performance even further people began defragmenting their hard disk drives in order to put the most important information on the “outside of the HDD” where the platter could find it the quickest. Despite what may seem like a fast way to do things, consumers have experienced the drag that even the fastest hard disk drive could not rectify. This is where Solid State Drives come in.


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Jealous of Comcast customers with their 105Mbps cable hook ups or those lucky residents of the Kansas cities relishing in Google’s 1Gbps service? Well add Londonites to the list of people that drive you to indulging in one of the seven deadly sins. Virgin Media has finally started testing its DOCSIS2-powered 1.5Gbps network in the heart of merry ol’ England. Right now it’s being enjoyed by a group of test sites around Old Street that also get a 150Mbps upload connection. Virgin claims it’s the fastest broadband in the world, which may be true if you’re not counting lab experiments. The really good news is that it’s based on the same tech already delivering 100Mbps to residents across the country so, if the trial goes well, it should be trivial to deliver these mind numbing speeds to the rest of its customers. Full PR inside.


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A global smart buzzword, Galaxy S 2 set a record of 3 million global sales only in 55 days. Samsung Electronics said on July 3 that its flagship smartphone Galaxy S 2 has marked the accumulated global sales of 3 million units, 55 days after its initial release: Within the period, a unit of Galaxy S 2 was sold in every 1.5 seconds. This record shortens the record of 85 days of its predecessor Galaxy S, a ten-million global seller, by 30 days.


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If you’ve stayed with friends who live in European cities, you’ve probably had an experience like this: You hop onto their WiFi or wired internet connection and realize it’s really fast. Way faster than the one that you have at home. It might even make your own DSL or cable connection feel as sluggish as dialup.

You ask them how much they pay for broadband.
“Oh, forty Euros.” That’s about $56.
“A week?” you ask.
“No,” they might say. “Per month. And that includes phone and TV.”

It’s really that bad. The nation that invented the internet ranks 16th in the world when it comes to the speed and cost of our broadband connections. That’s according to a study released last year by Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society on behalf of the FCC.

Engadget did a full coverage on this matter. Video and full report inside.


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Right after coming off its 100th birthday, IBM has come up with a new type of phase-change memory (PCM) that can read and write a whopping hundred times faster than existing flash memory. With capabilities like that, you might expect it to be expensive, fragile or short, but miraculously enough, this new “instantaneous memory” is reliable for millions of write-cycles, beating flash memory by about three orders of magnitude, and it looks like it will be cheap enough to make its way into use in mobile phones. This amazing little guy was only born recently so, of course, it’ll be a while before any make their way into active circulation, but when they do, it will drastically reduce the amount of time we spend staring at mobile device loading animations. About time, too. Several seconds is several seconds too long.


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In the rankings of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, a Japanese machine has earned the top spot with a performance that essentially laps the competition. The computer, known as “K Computer,” is three times faster than a Chinese rival (Tianhe-1A) that previously held the top position, said Jack Dongarra, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville who keeps the official rankings of computer performance.


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