Learning PHP: Get Started Using PHP

by Elias Zerrouq

Learning PHP: Get Started Using PHP

This PHP tutorial will guide you through the process of learning and using PHP, preparing you with some fundamental knowledge to get you started in the right path. We will talk about the history of PHP, create a local development environment (so that you won’t need a web server) and create a basic PHP script while discussing common beginner PHP gotchas along the way.


In the beginning, there was nothing. Well, there were static web pages that had to be edited manually. That was a pain. And it didn’t do anything other than display text and images on a web page.

With the introduction of PHP/FI (Personal Homepage Tools) in 1995, everything changed. It became possible to create dynamic web applications that generated content on-the-fly and allowed users to interact with the once static web pages.

When Rasmus Lerdorf, the creator of PHP/FI, decided to release the source code of his project, the development went even faster.

Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski joined the project in 1997 and started working on PHP 3.0 as the official successor of PHP/FI. The development of PHP/FI was mostly halted. PHP 3.0 (which is a recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) was officially released in June 1998.

Shortly after the release, Andi and Zeev were already working on a rewrite of PHP’s core. It was finished in mid-1999 and the new engine, dubbed Zend Engine (comprised of parts of their first names, Zeev and Andi), was a huge success.

PHP 4.0, based on the new Zend engine, was officially released in May 2000.

After four long years, PHP 5.0 was released introducing a new object model and dozens of other new features. In 2010, PHP 5.3.1 is the latest stable release. Seguir leyendo “Learning PHP: Get Started Using PHP”

Why People Pleasers Get Hit By Trains

In the hit film Inception Leonardo DiCaprio plays a man who can enter peoples’ dreams to steal corporate secrets. At one point (spoiler coming) he enters a businessman’s dream and is driving down a city street in a parade of cars when a 300-ton freight train juggernauts out of a side road and smashes into the lead car taking vehicles, asphalt and everything else with it….

If you are a people pleaser, then not only are you in a dream-world where you think others control you, but you are also in that lead car. And each time you give in to someone and compromise your dreams you get hit…hard.

In this article I’m going to introduce several ‘truths’ about the mindset that leads to people pleasing, the repercussions, and what you can do about it to keep yourself ‘on track’ (and the trains decommissioned or left in the sidings). Seguir leyendo “Why People Pleasers Get Hit By Trains”

Bouncing a Ball Around with HTML5 and JavaScript

by Vinci Rufu

Bouncing a Ball Around with HTML5 and JavaScript

As many of you right now, the <canvas> element is one of the most popular additions to the HTML5 standards. It is widely supported by popular browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera (Internet Explorer supports it in their IE9 beta version). This guide will explore the use of HTML5’s <canvas> element through a fun example: bouncing a blue ball around.

Final Result

Final Result

View Demo

Download Source

An Overview of HTML5’s Canvas

The <canvas> tag primarily allows you to render 2D shapes and images dynamically using math functions. Practical uses for this are things such as dynamic charts that are populated by data from a relational database like MySQL or web games that rely solely on open technologies (JavaScript/HTML).

While <canvas> in HTML merely allows you to define a region in terms of width and height, everything else related to the actual drawing of the shapes is done through JavaScript via a full set of drawing functions and methods (collectively known as the Canvas 2D API).

So that we may explore the <canvas> element through a hands-on approach, we will create a ball that will be bouncing around using HTML5 specifications and JavaScript.

Note that we will skip CSS because this guide is about HTML5 and JavaScript. CSS doesn’t play a part in the appearance and functionality of the bouncing ball, so we don’t need to discuss it. Seguir leyendo “Bouncing a Ball Around with HTML5 and JavaScript”

10 Must Read Tips for Newbie Freelancers

Photo credit: PureGrey

New freelancers often have set their sights on ambitious goals: how well your life goes now depends solely on you. Among your new challenges are project management, bookkeeping, time management and relationship building. So while freelancing can be perceived somewhat romantically, the reality is often quite far removed from the original dream.

To avoid the pitfalls of the freelance life, apply these 8 must read tips to your business and start off in the right direction! Seguir leyendo “10 Must Read Tips for Newbie Freelancers”

5 Motivational Tips to Get You Through the Day

Photo Credit: The Pirata

Your motivation is what pushed you to succeed and determines to a large degree if you are going to succeed or fail. But even the most motivated person needs a little extra help sometimes.

When the going gets tough these 5 tips can help you turn the day around and get you back on track.

Getting out of a cold streak
 I recall using these techniques with one of my salesmen; he was having a really bad week and was on the verge of just giving up, working just meant another rejection anyway.

At the beginning of the month we had set the goal that he was going to make two sales a week and agreed upon a very nice reward if he made it.

He was still motivated, as he really wanted the reward, but just couldn’t focus and get hungry about his work.

We went through these 5 tips (I will share the results with you below):

•    Focus on Your Goals
Your motivation stands in direct relationship to how clear your goals are, they are the source of your motivation. When you feel down, focus on them, visualize them and think about how great it will be once you have completed them.

•    Reward Yourself for Finishing Tasks
This is a great technique. Whenever you finish a task or complete a goal, give yourself a reward.
It can be a cup of coffee, a 10 minute break, a weekend away…. Anything that gets you motivated.
By doing this you train yourself to want to complete the goals and tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible, you will work hard to complete your goals, get the reward and move on the next. Always remember though, make sure you do the job well, you don’t want to have to go back and redo the task you already thought was finished.

•    Take a Short Walk
Sometimes you need a break, to clear your mind and get yourself back on track. Taking a walk is a great way to sort your thoughts and refocus.

•    Remember That When You Are Done, You Are Done
By this I mean that once you have done everything you need to do during the day, you are finished and can go home. That gives me a burst of motivation every time the day starts to feel long, it is up to me to make it go quickly so I can relax.

•    Call a Loved One for Inspiration
Sometimes we cannot do it alone. Make sure to find a friend or loved one who can help you when you need motivation, who you can call and who you know will tell you that you can do it and that they know you are great.

Seguir leyendo “5 Motivational Tips to Get You Through the Day”

The power of the symbolic world: Why burning the Quran is so disturbing Why is burning the Quran a symbolic threat?

When questioned about the backlash that may result from the planned Quran burning, the Rev Terry Jones pointed out that he was only burning a book. He was not killing anyone. This was a curious response. If burning a book was not that big of a deal, then it would not have been much of a stand against Islam, and thus not really worth doing. I suspect Rev Jones understands the power of symbols. He clearly wanted to make a potent statement. It does pose the question though: Why are we so protective of symbols?

Many philosophers, anthropologists, sociologists, and psychologists have pointed out that humans are uniquely symbolic creatures. We are chained to a physical reality, like all other animals. But we also have the capacity for imaginative and symbolic thought. The anthropologist Ernest Becker nicely illustrated this with the example of water. Water is part of the physical world and a critical component of our physical existence. But humans are the only animals that symbolize water (as H20) and, critically, the only animals that magically empower water (by blessing it and making it holy).

Look at the diverse tapestry of human cultural life. We go to great lengths to fashion a symbolic world. If you don’t believe in the power of symbols, try attending a local sporting event wearing the jersey of a rival team. In certain places, this little experiment could be a rather painful lesson in how important the symbolic world is to humans.

But the question is still unanswered. Why is the symbolic world so important to us? Many scholars have argued that the symbolic world is critical to humans because we are smart enough to fully understand the implications of being physical beings. We understand that life is fragile, we often have little control over it (e.g., I could be hit by a bus tomorrow or a tumor could be growing in me right now), and, critically, it is finite. However, the same advanced intellect that allows us to contemplate the grim reality of physical existence also allows us to construct a symbolic world.

With the construction of a symbolic world we can ease the pain of understanding our physical limitations; that we are merely, as Becker asserted, worms and food for worms. That is, we create a cultural world of meaning in which humans are not merely animals, but are symbolic entities. We are part of something larger and more enduring than our physical existence. In other words, in the symbolic world we can be immortal. Each of us will die, maybe even tomorrow, but our religions will live on. Our nations will live on. Even our favorite sports teams will live on. If we are lucky, our names may even live on through enduring societal contributions. In short, we invest heavily in the symbolic cultural institutions and identifications, in part, because they help insulate us from basic fears about our mortal predicament. Seguir leyendo “The power of the symbolic world: Why burning the Quran is so disturbing Why is burning the Quran a symbolic threat?”

Building a Marketing Strategy for Innovation Efforts

by James Pasmantier

Marketing StrategyWe’ve covered features, and the spectrum of innovation initiatives in our previous posts, so now let’s touch on a topic central to successful idea or innovation challenges- marketing. Properly implemented, marketing will ensure a robust social community is developed and most importantly, sustained.

It’s important to define and understand the target audience of an individual campaign or idea generating initiative before beginning any marketing effort. In general, campaigns will be either internal, employee-facing campaigns, or externally-facing to customers, targeted groups, or the general public.

Used internally, campaigns leverage the collective wisdom of employees to drive innovation. This can happen among small, cross-functional, groups, entire departments, or company-wide. Marketing a campaign to an internal audience should be targeted, utilizing existing channels of communication such as intranet portals and direct email communications. Take into account the role and functions of employees to determine the most effective means of communication—the marketing approach for factory-floor workers, for example, might be different than for software product managers.

When using idea management tools to power a public-facing campaign or initiative, it’s important to narrow down who the audience will be (much like determining targeted vs. broad-spectrum campaigns) to focus efforts and still stay as broad as possible to encourage maximum participation. Identifying where the audience can be reached—social networks, blogs, through print advertising, etc. – setting a budget, and setting and communicating expectations internally are all key factors to developing a productive community with active, sustained participation.

Here are some ways to think about how to market an ideation site campaign, and real-world examples of successful initiatives, broken down into three categories: Big Splash, Continuous Communication, and Get Creative. Seguir leyendo “Building a Marketing Strategy for Innovation Efforts”

50 Ways to Foster a Culture of Innovation

by Mitch Ditkoff

50 Ways to Foster a Culture of InnovationAs your organization continues rebounding from the financial meltdown, here are 50 ways to ensure that it becomes increasingly conducive to ongoing innovation. Commit to a few of these today and make some magic. Your next step?

  1. Remember that innovation requires no fixed rules or templates — only guiding principles. Creating a more innovative culture is an organic and creative act.
  2. Wherever you can, whenever you can, always drive fear out of the workplace. Fear is “Public Enemy #1″ of an innovative culture.
  3. Have more fun. If you’re not having fun (or at least enjoying the process) something is off.
  4. Always question authority, especially the authority of your own longstanding beliefs.
  5. Make new mistakes.
  6. As far as the future is concerned, don’t speculate on what might happen, but imagine what you can make happen.
  7. Increase the visual stimuli of your organization’s physical space. Replace gray and white walls with color. Add inspiring photos and art, especially visuals that inspire people to think differently. Reconfigure space whenever possible.
  8. Help people broaden their perspective by creating diverse teams and rotating employees into new projects — especially ones they are fascinated by.
  9. Ask questions about everything. After asking questions, ask different questions. After asking different questions, ask them in a different way.
  10. Ensure a high level of personal freedom and trust. Provide more time for people to pursue new ideas and innovations. Seguir leyendo “50 Ways to Foster a Culture of Innovation”

“Falta capacitación y concientización del valor del canal por parte de las marcas”

Gonzalo Carrasco, asesor en Mobile Marketing para JWT Argentina, continúa el análisis y aporta su mirada a nuestro tema del mes.

Gonzalo Carrasco, asesor en Mobile Marketing para JWT Argentina.

Gonzalo, ¿En qué momento está el marketing móvil en la región en general y en nuestro país en particular?
El marketing movil se encuentra hoy en día en una etapa de entendimiento, conocimiento y estudio de las marcas hacia el canal. Todavía las compañías están terminando de entender el poder y la funcionalidad de la web, por lo que es muy pronto pretender que logren interpretar el papel del Mobile. Claros ejemplos se dan cuando suelo escuchar en reuniones “algo Mobile tenemos que hacer”, o “quiero hacer algo con celulares para mi marca”. Esta claro que está en la cabeza de los responsables de marca, pero todavía no tienen en claro qué y cómo hacer acciones con móviles.

Otro claro ejemplo es que muchas agencias pretenden introducir a las marcas en este mundo desarrollando directamente aplicaciones para smartphones como primera acción, cuando hay un sin fin de alternativas antes que le permitirían a las compañías ir ingresando de a poco en esta nueva plataforma e ir aprendiendo del canal. En la región, Argentina es uno de los pioneros y de los países mas avanzados, muchas de las acciones regionales son diseñadas desde acá.

Resumiendo, el canal se encuentra en una etapa de aprendizaje, y son las agencias e integradores (en algunos casos) quienes deben capacitar e instruir a las marcas para lograr la mayor efectividad posible en las acciones a implementar.
Seguir leyendo ““Falta capacitación y concientización del valor del canal por parte de las marcas””

Obama: “No estamos ni estaremos nunca en guerra contra el Islam”

Torre Picasso - Picasso Tower

Nueva York recuerda el trágico atentado de Al Qaeda contra el World Trade Center.

Los vecinos de la ciudad Nueva York conmemoran hoy el noveno aniversario del ataque terrorista a las Torres Gemelas, ocurrido el 11 de septiembre de 2001. En una solemne ceremonia realizada en la llamada “Zona Cero”, el alcalde de la ciudad, Michael Bloomberg, recordó a las más de 2.700 personas que perdieron la vida al estrellarse dos aviones de línea contra el World Trade Center.

“Ninguna otra tragedia pública rasgó nuestra ciudad de una forma tan profunda. Ningún otro lugar está tan lleno de compasión, amor y solidaridad”, expresó Bloomberg, durante el acto, realizado en el lugar donde antes se erigían las torres, en plena isla de Manhattan. El alcalde aseguró que “es con la fuerza de estas emociones, y con el cemento, cristal y metal que se trae (a la zona cero) día tras día, con los que construiremos sobre las huellas del pasado las bases del futuro”.

A su vez, el presidente de los Estados Unidos, Barak Obama, expresó esta mañana durante un acto en la capital del país, Washington, que esta fecha es “una pausa para recordar un día que sometió al país a prueba”. El presidente se unió al minuto de silencio que se realizó a las 8.46 de la mañana, hora en que se estrellaron los aviones contra las Torres Gemelas. Seguir leyendo “Obama: “No estamos ni estaremos nunca en guerra contra el Islam””

[ARGENTINA] Ya está operando una compañía de telefonía celular de cooperativas

Fue bautizada Nuestro y llegará a 180 ciudades sobre la red de Telecom Argentina. Aseguran que el ahorro para el cliente será de hasta un 25 por ciento

La Federación de Cooperativas Telefónicas del Sur (Fecosur) lanzó su propio operador de telefonía celular.
Fue bautizado Nuestro y el servicio está disponible en Villa Gesell, Mar del Plata y San Martín de los Andes.

Sin embargo, en seis meses la red comercial alcanzaría 180 ciudades.
Según consigna el diario La Nación, aspiran a hacerse del 5% del mercado en tres años.
Para esto, Fecosur firmó un acuerdo con Telecom Argentina, que le alquilará el acceso a su red móvil. Seguir leyendo “[ARGENTINA] Ya está operando una compañía de telefonía celular de cooperativas”

When Should You Nickel-and-Dime Your Customers?

By Rebecca W. Hamilton, Joydeep Srivastava and Ajay Thomas Abraham

Every manager who’s ever set a price has had to wrestle with whether to “partition” the elements — charge separately for such things as shipping, installation or warranties — or to bundle everything into one price. Here’s how to decide.

If you’ve spent time at an airport recently, you’re likely to have overheard a conversation between a surprised non-frequent flyer and a ticket agent about fees for checked luggage. That exchange may have been a loud one if the airline was charging $25 (or more) per bag. Although charging separately for luggage allows airlines to advertise lower ticket prices, potentially increasing sales, incorporating baggage fees into the ticket price might increase the satisfaction of customers en route as well as raise the retention rate of check-in counter agents. And therein lies the rub.

When should a company “nickel-and-dime” customers by charging separately for various extras, and when is it better to keep things simple by combining all of the charges into one total price?

Before answering, consider another example: The price of wall-to-wall carpeting may or may not include the cost of installation or delivery to the customer’s home. Given that most customers neither own a vehicle large enough to transport a living-room–sized piece of carpeting nor have any desire to rent one, delivery is, for all intents and purposes, a required component of the purchase. If nearly all customers will be buying both carpeting and delivery, should the price of the carpeting include delivery or should the company charge for it separately?

The Leading Question

When should companies bundle charges, and when should they list them separately?

  • One size does not fit all. How you answer the question depends on many factors, including industry norms.
  • If you don’t follow industry norms, you will be at a disadvantage when people quickly comparison shop.
  • But moving away from the pack — for instance not charging passengers to check bags — could give you a competitive advantage.

On the one hand, assigning a separate dollar value to the delivery component would decrease the price per square foot that the company charges for their carpeting, making its prices appear more competitive when customers comparison shop. Charging separately for delivery also might increase the perceived value of the delivery service to customers and discourage absenteeism when the delivery truck is scheduled to arrive. On the other hand, if delivery is something customers really dislike paying for (like other shipping and handling charges), they might be much happier with the overall transaction if delivery charges were included in the price. Including free delivery could even increase the likelihood that they become repeat customers. Seguir leyendo “When Should You Nickel-and-Dime Your Customers?”

A G.O.P. Leader Tightly Bound to Lobbyists

David Lassman/ Post-Standard

Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, center, has used his business ties to become a leading fund-raiser for Republicans.


WASHINGTON — House Democrats were preparing late last year for the first floor vote on the financial regulatory overhaul when Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio and other Republican leaders summoned more than 100 industry lobbyists and conservative political activists to Capitol Hill for a private strategy session.

Representative John A. Boehner arriving for a fund-raiser for Ann Marie Buerkle, a House candidate from New York.

The bill’s passage in the House already seemed inevitable. But Mr. Boehner and his deputies told the Wall Street lobbyists and trade association leaders that by teaming up, they could still perhaps block its final passage or at least water it down.

“We need you to get out there and speak up against this,” Mr. Boehner said that December afternoon, according to three people familiar with his remarks, while also warning against cutting side deals with Democrats.

That sort of alliance — they won a few skirmishes, though they lost the war on the regulatory bill — is business as usual for Mr. Boehner, the House minority leader and would-be speaker if Republicans win the House in November. He maintains especially tight ties with a circle of lobbyists and former aides representing some of the nation’s biggest businesses, including Goldman Sachs, Google, Citigroup, R. J. Reynolds, MillerCoors and UPS.

They have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to his campaigns, provided him with rides on their corporate jets, socialized with him at luxury golf resorts and waterfront bashes and are now leading fund-raising efforts for his Boehner for Speaker campaign, which is soliciting checks of up to $37,800 each, the maximum allowed. Seguir leyendo “A G.O.P. Leader Tightly Bound to Lobbyists”

Bad Is Stronger Than Good: Evidence-Based Advice For Bosses

Recently, I posted a list of 12 Things Good Bosses Believe. Now I’m following up by delving into each one of them. This post is about the tenth belief: “Bad is stronger than good. It is more important to eliminate the negative than to accentuate the psitive.”
Of all the tunes in the Johnny Mercer songbook, the most generally beloved must be “Accentuate the Positive” — whether your favorite cover is Bing Crosby‘s, Willie Nelson‘s, or someone else’s. Chances are that you yourself could summon up the chorus word for word (and click here if you want accompaniment).

You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

It trips off the tongue so easily that you might not even notice that Mercer is telling you to do two things, not just one. Eliminating the negative, as any skilled leader can tell you, is not just the flipside of accentuating the positive. It’s a whole different set of activities. For someone with people to manage, accentuating the positive means recognizing productive and constructive effort, for example, and helping people discover and build on their strengths. Eliminating the negative, for the same boss, might mean tearing down maddening obstacles and shielding people from abuse.

Certainly, every leader should try to do both. Yet, given that every boss has limited time, attention, and resources, an interesting question is: which should take priority? A growing body of behavioral science research provides a pretty clear answer here: It’s more important to eliminate the negative.

The seminal academic paper here is called “Bad is Stronger Than Good” [pdf]. Roy Baumeister and his colleagues draw on a huge pile of peer-reviewed studies to show that negative information, experiences, and people have far deeper impacts than positive ones. In the context of romantic relationships and marriages, for example, the truth is stark: unless positive interactions outnumber negative interactions by five to one, odds are that the relationship will fail. Seguir leyendo “Bad Is Stronger Than Good: Evidence-Based Advice For Bosses”

Innovation: Enough with the Freedom to Fail

Let’s not go overboard with the freedom to fail. Companies should let employees know they expect success more often than not. Pro or con?

Pro: Excuses, Excuses

by Scott D. Anthony, Innosight

I’ve seen it happen all too frequently. A manager opens up a review meeting about a project that is clearly struggling by saying, “Remember, we’re innovating here. We should expect to fail.”

Too frequently, that’s code for something far more ominous. Give the manager truth serum, and you would hear, “I screwed up” or “I didn’t do my homework.”

There’s no doubt that innovation entails risk and randomness, and that sometimes people are going to do all the right things but get bad results. We should celebrate people who take well-thought-out, calculated risks that don’t pan out. That is not failure but important learning on the road to organizational success, as resources can be redirected to projects with higher potential.

But that doesn’t excuse stupidity and sloppiness.

The best innovators approach uncertain problems thoughtfully. They seek to learn as much as possible from whatever data they can get their hands on. They use that information to design and execute well-constructed experiments around the most critical unknowns in their plans. Learning from those experiments informs their next steps. Seguir leyendo “Innovation: Enough with the Freedom to Fail”