Posts Tagged tech

Why Diaspora won’t beat facebook, but you might.

“Diaspora, the ‘anti-Facebook’, is doomed”, says Milo Yiannopoulos of the Telegraph.

I agree, but not for the reasons Milo gives. He says Diaspora will fail because:

  1. Facebook’s really big.
  2. Zuck’s invested in it.
  3. There’s a lot of competition.
  4. Facebook’s well funded.
  5. Diaspora hasn’t launched yet.

I think those are simply the problems that any startup is bound to face – indeed, the situation was largely the same when facebook launched against the giant that was myspace, or when Microsoft decided to enter the same market as IBM.

But the topic itself is an interesting one. An investigation into how a startup might challenge Facebook’s dominancy will doubtless reveal some insights into more general approaches that web endeavors can take to sweep away their competitors.

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Fast PHP array_unique for removing duplicates

PHP’s native dedupe function, array_unique, can be slow for large amount of input. Here I’m going to talk about a simple function that performs the same task but which runs a lot faster.

Often, people spout PHP optimisation advice that is incredibly misguided, so I want to make it clear up-front that you should be benchmarking your scripts using xdebug before you start optimising, and very often the real bottlenecks cannot be avoided by using “micro-optimization”. Here’s a nice PDF on Common Optimization Mistakes.

Now I’ve got that disclaimer out of the way, I believe it’s OK to talk about making a faster array_unique because it’s often used on large amounts of data – for example removing duplicate email addresses, and as such there are genuine use cases for a fast array_unique in PHP. Also our fast_unique function can be several seconds faster than array_unique so we’re not necessarily talking about micro-optimisation here; on 200k duplicate entries, array_unique takes nearly 5 seconds on my windows dev box, fast_unique takes <1 second on the same data. On 2 million entires the results are staggering – performance graphs are given below (but then, why are you doing that kind of work in PHP?).

The function looks like this:
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3D PHP – playing with ImageCreate

A PHP city (it gets better after the break):

PHP ImageCreate

Basically I was bored one day and decided to play around with ImageCreate and ended up making this “crate” demo (click the image for some other experiments).

And then everything got a bit silly and I made this:

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Neat Windows Tools

Most of these tools have a computer security slant, some cannot be classified under any other term than ‘hacking tools’, so be careful when running them, especially if you don’t know what they do. Tools that interact with a network in a potentially dangerous way are marked with ‘D’. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Right To Read

Taken from http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html


For Dan Halbert, the road to Tycho began in college–when Lissa Lenz asked to borrow his computer. Hers had broken down, and unless she could borrow another, she would fail her midterm project. There was no one she dared ask, except Dan.

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Setting up a WAMP Server by hand

This article will step through what you need to do get WAMP (Windows, Apache, mySQL, PHP) running on windows 2000, 98 or XP. (It might work with Vista, ME or 95, but I don’t promise anything)

By the end, you’ll have a versatile tool that will allow you to:

-host your own website (permanent internet connection preferable)
-learn a basic programming language (PHP)
-learn about relational databases (mySQL)
-learn about server config on the industry standard webserver (apache)

all without having to install a new operating system.

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Steganography in PHP (!)

What? Am I insane? Officially, yes, but that’s not important. This is a PHP script that can hide files in images. It takes a JPG and converts to PNG. It requires GDlib and is almost totally pointless. Read the rest of this entry »

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How To Hack – Beginners Guide to Hacking Computers

“ The Only True Guide to Learning How to Hack ”

originally by R4di4tion (his email, but it’s no longer in use), with a few updates by myself.

You stay up all night on the PC typing and typing. No, you’re not hacking. You’re begging someone on IRC to teach you how to hack! Let’s look at the facts:

  1. You’re a luser and you’re annoying. No one likes you if you ask others how to hack without taking the least amount of initiative.
  2. You’re not worthy of any title even resembling hacker, cracker, phreaker, etc., so don’t go around calling yourself that! The more you do, the less likely you are to find someone willing to teach you how to hack (which is an infinitesimal chance, any way).
  3. You’re wasting your time (if you couldn’t infer that in the first place). Many real hackers (not those shitty script kiddies) spend all their insomniac hours reading and, yes even, HACKING! (Hacking doesn’t necessarily (but usually does) mean breaking into another system. It could mean just working on your own system, BUT NOT WINDOWS ’9x (unless you’re doing some really menacing registry shit, in which case, you’re kind of cool).)

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