Category Archives: Internet Informations

Facebook speeds PHP by crafting a PHP virtual machine

Social networking giant Facebook has taken another step at making the PHP Web programming language run more quickly. The company has developed a PHP Virtual Machine that it says can execute the language as much as nine times as quickly as running PHP natively on large systems.

“Our goal is to make PHP run really, really quickly,” said Joel Pobar, a Facebook engineering manager. Facebook has been using the virtual machine, called the HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM), across all of its servers since earlier this year.

Pobar discussed the virtual machine at the O’Reilly Open Source Conference (OSCON) being held this week in Portland, Oregon.

Shares its development tools

HHVM is not Facebook’s first foray into customizing PHP for faster use. PHP is aninterpreted language, meaning that the source code is executed by the processor directly. Generally speaking, programs written in interpreted languages such as PHP tend not to run as quickly as languages, such as C or C++, that have been compiled beforehand into machine language byte code. Facebook has remained loyal to PHP because it is widely understood by many of the Web programmers who work for the company.

To keep up with the insatiable user demand, however, Facebook originally devised a compiler, called HipHop, that would translate PHP code into C++, so it then it could be compiled ahead of time for faster performance.

While Facebook enjoyed considerable performance gains of this first version of HipHop for several years, it sought other ways to speed the delivery of the dynamically created Web pages to its billion or so users. “Our performance strategy for that was going to tap out,” Pobar admitted.

HHVM is the next step for Facebook. Under development for about three years, HHVM actually works on the same principle as the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). HHVM has a just-in-time (JIT) compiler that converts the human readable source code into machine-readable byte code when it is needed. (The previous HipHop, renamed HPHPc, has now been retired within Facebook.)

This JIT approach allows the virtual machine to “make smarter decisions at runtime,” Pobar said. For instance, if a call is made to the MySQL database to read a row of data, the HHVM can, on the fly, figure out what type of data it is, such as an integer or a string. It then can generate or call code on the fly that would be best suited for handling this particular type of data.

With the old HipHop, “the best it can do is analyze the entire Facebook codebase, reason about it and then specialize code based on its reasoning. But it can’t get all of the reasoning right. There are parts of the code base that you can not simply infer about or reason about,” Pobar said.

Virtual system speedier

Pobar estimated that HHVM is about twice as fast as HPHPc was, and about nine times as fast as running straight PHP.

Facebook has posted the code for HHVM on GitHub, with the hopes that others will use it to speed their PHP websites as well.

HHVM is optimized for handling very large, and heavily used, PHP codebases. Pobar reckoned that using HHVM for standard sized websites, such as one hosting a WordPress blog, would gain only about a fivefold performance improvement.

“If you take some PHP and run it in on HipHop, the CPU execution time [may] not be the limiting factor for performance. Chances are [the system is] spending too much time talking to the database or spending too time talking to [the] memcache” caching layer, Pobar said.

Yahoo!’s Earnings and the Future of Display Ads

Investors were upset that Yahoo! Inc.’s (YHOO) quarterly results showed a sharp drop in display advertising revenue. And, based on its forecasts, that will not get any better soon. The Yahoo! trouble is not an isolated case. Display rates have started to collapse across the industry, making a chance for Internet advertising to expand as fast as it has over the past decade impossible. That represents trouble for tens of thousands of businesses.

Yahoo!’s revenue fell 7% in the second quarter compared to last year, drifting down to $1.22 billion. Wall St. focused mostly on one comment:

Iconic Brands That Just Vanished

GAAP display revenue was $472 million for the second quarter of 2013, a 12 percent decrease compared to $535 million for the second quarter of 2012.

At the same time, there was no evidence that Yahoo!’s audience fell, so the yield from the average display ad fell considerably.

Yahoo! holds a special place among America’s Internet companies. In the United States, according to research firm comScore, it had a monthly audience of unique visitor that was above 192.9 million in May. That put it a very close second to Google Inc.’s (GOOG), which was 193.5 million. Because of its huge size, the trends set by Yahoo! almost certainly represent those of most of the balance of the industry.

States That Drink the Most Beer

The bane of display advertising today is that so many Web properties have decided to stake their futures on content delivered on small devices, which include, primarily, smartphones. All of the evidence indicates that advertisers will pay less for messages they post on these smaller screens. Actually, the amount marketers will pay for this content environment is much, much less than for traditional display ads that appear on personal computers (PCs). In an attempt to chase the online content audience as it migrates away from PCs, Internet companies have badly damaged future revenue prospects. The trouble is that people will watch content on smaller screens whether online content sites like it or not.

Most experts hope that falling display ad rates can be offset by the increase in video content on the Internet. Advertisers will pay a great deal more for video ads than display ads. So, there is a rush to create this sort of programming. But the likelihood that video can balance the drop in display rates appears unlikely.

Beyond Google’s YouTube, the amount of video posted on the Internet by large content companies is relatively small. In May, Google sites had 154.4 million unique video viewers, driven almost exclusively by YouTube. These visitors spent an average of 437 minutes on Google sites in May. After that, video viewership at other sites drops very sharply. For example, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) sites had 45.2 million unique video viewers in May. The average time these viewers spent watching video on Microsoft sites was only 36.9 minutes, barely more than a half-hour TV show.

Internet advertising may remain at current levels in terms of volume, but the monetary yield from these ads likely will never return.

Twitter Yields 25,300 Tweets ‘Royal Baby’ per Minute

London – Twitter flooded with tweets about the birth of the couple’s first child Prince William-Kate Middleton. These social media platforms stating royal baby be a global trending topic with 25,300 tweets per minute.

Peak in the global conversation on Twitter came in at 20:37 am London time, a few minutes after the official announcement of the birth holds a couple Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Since Monday night, more than 2 million people mention news of the birth of her baby’s future king on Twitter.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the number of royal baby tweet tweet beat 120 thousand while Andy Murray won the prestigious Wimbledon tennis match.

Residents Twitter using the hastag specifically to associate with the royal birth. Generally, they use a hashtag like # RoyalBaby, # RoyalBabyBoy, and # RoyalBabyWatch.

According to a statement Twitter, since Middleton entered the hospital Monday morning with Prince William at her side, the hashtag # RoyalBaby itself has been used more than 900 thousand times on Twitter on Monday night. Tweet about royal baby news sent from all over the world, with the highest volume of conversation coming from the United States, Britain, Canada, France, and Italy.

Google Translate Presents Handwriting Features

California – Google Translate now comes with a new feature that allows users to translate handwriting, the handwriting input Google Translate. This feature supports 45 languages ​​handwriting.
Of the 45 languages ​​available, Google provides one example of Chinese language handwriting. If users want to know the meaning of this article é ¥ º å??, Users simply select the Google Translate Chinese menu, and select the pencil-shaped icon to activate the language features handwriting. The user needs to do is describe the characters in the main panel features handwriting. Furthermore, Google Translate will do it.
Previously, Google has presented the Google Translate feature for handwriting input devices with the Android operating system in December 2012. Then, in early 2013, the company renewed the browser engine Google Input Tools to desktop by adding a new virtual keyboard, editing method, and device for carrying handwritten translation into a web. Google recently announced later on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, as reported by The Next Web sites.
Not surprisingly, Google first presented the new features of Google Translate on Android because this feature is more appropriate for mobile users with high activity.

Google Maps for iPad Launched

Jakarta – After a week after Google Maps launched for Android users, the information technology company is now re-presenting feature map for iPad users. Google Maps 2.0 can be enjoyed globally since Tuesday, July 16, 2013.
Features that are designed for use with the device’s larger screen choose the look with clearer images and soft colors.
Just like the Android version, iOS-based applications include traffic information in real time. Google Maps 2.0 comes with Foursquare and navigation that includes information about a variety of places, including restaurants and shopping centers.
This application actually has not been downloaded from the App Store could in their home country, the United States. Yet it can be downloaded for users in Asia.
Google Maps before, they can be enjoyed by users of smart phones iPhone. Launch the application updates to follow up on complaints that come from iPhone users, especially iPhone 5 to Apple Maps. Users complained about the lack of accuracy especially on Apple Maps. Apple Management then apologized in writing to the users of the iPhone and iPad.
Service on the map offers features traffic information, navigation, transit directions, satellite, road, indoor photos, restaurant reviews, and the integration of the Google profile. Unlike other Google apps made​​, this map is a special feature produced for the default operating system iOS. The application advantages are speed and small file size so it does not take much memory.

Opera Next 16 hints at new features

Norwegian browser developer Opera Software has confirmed the switch of its browser development to a rapid release cycle with the launch of Opera Next 16. The new version number comes less than a month after Opera 15 FINAL was released, which saw Opera switch from its own proprietary Presto web engine to the Blink engine used by Google Chrome.

As with all rapid release cycle updates, there are no major overhauls to be found in Opera Next 16, although a number of interesting new features have been showcased as the next iteration starts its journey towards final release.

Opera 16 — which is based on Chromium 29, the engine that powers Chrome 29 (currently in beta) — comes with support for the W3C Geolocation API, a form auto-filler tool and opera:flags, a shortcut to settings that allows adventurous users to play with experimental features.

Users will also find a new setting under Browser > Start Page called “Preload Discover contents”, which allows users to switch this feature off.

Platform-specific updates include support for Jump Lists in Windows 7 and 8, plus the addition of Presentation mode to the Mac platform.

In addition to these existing features, Opera has revealed the next set of features it’s working on, with the promise that early versions of these will be rolled out into the Opera Next build over the next few weeks. These include proper bookmarks support, synchronization via Opera Link, improved tab handling and themes.

Opera Next 16 is considered “alpha” software, which is why — like Firefox Aurora — it’s designed to run alongside an existing stable build of Opera, allowing users to experiment with new features without affecting their day-to-day browsing. Updates are frequent as bugs are discovered and fixed, but users should not attempt to rely on Opera Next as their primary browser, hence the separate installation.

Twitter Will Evolve Like the TV?

CALIFORNIA – A recent study reveals social networking site Twitter will turn into a place where people sell products and fame. Two researchers from Columbia Business School and the University of Pittsburgh said, later Twitter is like a TV ad featuring the artists and activities.

Olivier Toubia, professor from Columbia Business School, and Andrew T. Stephen, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh, who conducted the study believe Twitter users who only use it for personal purposes will decrease.

Instead, Twitter activity are used for product promotion or promotion of a company of a celebrity will continue. “So be prepared to welcome Twitter with content such as TV,” said professor Toubia.

The study was conducted by examining at least 2500 non-commercial Twitter account. The study was conducted by randomly selecting accounts to identify the use of Twitter and find out about the follower.

The study found that the results in some groups follower accounts increased meaning of each rating also increased his tweet. In other words, a tweet from a follower who increased his can be used for promotion.

Toubia and Stephen predicts post Twitter for regular users will decrease, while the activity of the celebrities and commercial products will continue to increase.

“Communication between one’s personal will be reduced on Twitter. Twitter and activity will be mainly dominated by commercial content, “says Toubia.

Yet he denies Twitter will lose his fame in the future. “With 500 million Twitter users around the world will not be destroyed, but rather to be a tool for the promotion activities of celebrities, companies or anything like that,” he concluded.

4 SEO Tips for Launching a New Website and New Brand

Launching a new website is hard. Launching a new brand with that new website can be downright madness.

Just ask Moz. Or iAcquire. Apparently, 2013 is the year of the marketing agency rebrand, and I’m happy to announce we’re part of that list, too: Last week, 352 Media Group became 352.

Those 2½ months spent building our new website and our new brand were the hardest I’ve ever worked in my life. They were also the most rewarding, and despite my incessant cursing, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Why? Because look at the old site:

Holy wow.

Whenever you launch a site, everyone just sees the design change, but rarely do you see the behind the scenes – and I’m not just talking about design iterations, although there were probably 13 of those – work that goes into a new website. We’re assuming you’ve already redid your keyword and market research.

That’s A Lot of Redirects

Thankfully, the domain didn’t change, but the URL structure did change to directory style. I used Ruth Burr’s template for domain migrations, but made some tweaks.

First, pull every single URL that’s on your root domain. I used both Screaming Frog and our database to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. Drop into Excel and start analyzing what’s going where on your new site.

We work in agile web development, which accounts for short sprints of work (in our case, two weeks at a time) when at the end we’d be able to launch full functionally pieces of our website. Think of it like building a house one room completely at a time.

Because this bad boy needed to be up before mid-July, the planned to launch with the Slim Fast version of our sitemap: A lot of pages weren’t going to exist yet, but they would soon. That meant a lot of pages of our existing site weren’t going to move yet, but they would.

So, in addition to the 301s and 404s, I added a section of what was going to be in Phase II to make our support departments’ lives a little easier. I think it worked.

Analytics

I admit it: I didn’t remember to install the analytics code on our new site until 24 hours before the site launched. *Facepalm*.

Seriously: Don’t forget it, but also, don’t settle for the basic version. There is so much more that you can see with a little customization, and you need to think about what makes most sense for you. For us, there were three big ones:

  • Enhanced in-page to see where people were clicking.
  • Page scrolling to see how far down people were going on our pages.
  • Event tracking to see how people interacted with our video.
  • Event tracking to see how often people clicked on our contact information.

Sitemaps

If your URLs are changing, so will your sitemaps. Don’t forget to generate a new XML sitemap and resubmit me that GWT to speed up indexation of your new site. We went the multiple XML sitemap approach, one of our main site and one for our blog.

Holy Crap: We Aren’t No. 1 For Our Name

That’s every SEO professional’s nightmare. We’re living that right now. We decided to change our name in January. In May, we took a match to our old site and started over from scratch. Around June, someone finally said “Hey, I wonder where we’ll be ranked with our new brand name.”

Page 3. PAGE 3?!

Logically, it makes sense. 352 is the area code of Gainesville, Florida, our headquarters and our namesake. Sure, we’ve been known simply as 352 (tree-five-two) for 15+ years both by clients and internally, search engines weren’t making that connection.

Why would they? All of our brand links are 352 Media Group, and all of our content was 352 Media Group. We also don’t have nearly the social community that Moz does to blog, link and tweet the name change that would clued Google in sooner.

While our new brand does come with a whole new keyword targeting – Pro tip: Start your new keyword research very early – I couldn’t care less about our exact-match anchor text until we’re showing up No. 1 for “352.” How do you do it? Pull your backlink using your favorite tool, go down and find all of the links with your brand name, and start contacting.

Trust me: Start this process very early if you’re changing name, as in way before you officially launch. Start by reaching out to people who you know can queue up their change to go live on your exact launch date, for example, your author bio for any places you’re a contributor. Don’t forget to make sure your internal team changes any links they have on personal websites.

I’m in the thick of this now, and you never really realize how many brand links you have until you’re staring at a 4-digit long Excel spreadsheet.

Keeping Momentum Post Launch

Last year, I went skydiving. There’s a moment about 30 seconds into your free fall where you convince yourself that the shoot should have opened by now, and this was going to be it. Then, the chord pulls, you shoot up vertically, and you feel the biggest rush of relief because you are, in fact, going to make it through.

At 3:52 p.m. – see what we did there? – on July 16, 2013, I got that same rush from the launch of our site.

And while the honeymoon of the new brand only lasted about 24 hours until my inbox was flooded with feedback, I needed that kick to keep up the momentum our team had with post-launch iterations.

There will be things you don’t think of. There will be bugs you missed. There will be internal feedback that makes more sense. There will definitelybe user feedback you didn’t even know existed. You need an organized way to keep track of all of this.

My agency used TFS and work through a backlog of items based off client priority and effort to complete the task. This helps us better see the cool things we want to do and where it lies based on priority.

It’s not the most intuitive, and we’re searching for some something a little more user friendly, but it works well enough for now.

If you’re going through a new site launch, I feel you, buddy. It’s long. It’s a pain in the ass. Sometimes, you just want to quit. It’s extremely difficult not to get discouraged, but the end result will be worth it.

Don’t get disappointed if you forget something. There’s a lot to do, and we missed a few “Well, duh” things post launch, but it’s OK. That’s the beauty of constant iterations.

Four Techniques Local Businesses Should Use for Search Engine Optimization with WordPress

Hands down, a WordPress website is one of the best investments that can be made in a local company’s online lead generation efforts. Admittedly, it can also be one of the biggest investments. My Local Leads, a Maine based marketing firm, works on design and development as well as continued maintenance of affordable WordPress websites for local businesses across the US. There are undoubtedly some decisions that go into the initial planning and development stages that can greatly impact marketing effectiveness of the site. Then, there are things that require continued and near constant observation and work. These few techniques are important to helping make a WordPress website part of a successful local search marketing campaign.

Choosing the right domain name can be pivotal in helping increase a websites reach, especially in the early stages. It was popular to stuff a domain with keywords, but recent search engine algorithm updates have lessened the value of such a practice. Branding is important for the domain name. It needs to be simple enough for people to remember. If a keyword fits naturally, sure it can and should be added. If it ends up making it too weird, too long, or too hard to remember, it is most likely not worth it.

It is also important to remember to turn on WordPress’s built in SEO tools when putting up a site for a local business. There is a setting under privacy of a WordPress site that will automatically hide the site from search engines, and this certainly is not what anyone attempting to build a site for search engine optimization wants to have set. At the same time, the WordPress website should have the permalinks set to be friendly URLs, which will help with the site ranking.

There are important add-ons that any WordPress website should have including sitemap and SEO tools. The meta titles and descriptions can be easily added with warnings and suggestions through using a tool like Yoast. The sitemap is a factor in overall page ranking and can be done automatically through a plugin whenever new pages or posts are added.

Another factor that business owners will want to keep an eye on with their WordPress site is the actual functionality. The site should load quickly, have no dead links, and have clean code. Ugly and broken code can harm the rankings as well as user experience. Slow sites or sites that go down frequently can also be detrimental to both customer experience and search engine rankings.

Microsoft Internet Explorer Pushes Beyond Second Screen To Companion Web

“We’re at a tipping point with connected devices,” a recent blog post from Microsoft Microsoft‘s Internet Explorer team reads. “Every day, 3.6 million mobile devices and tablets are activated worldwide. That’s over five times more than the number of babies born each day!” They’ve got a point, but it is a sad irony for Microsoft that so few of those mobile devices run their software.

But Microsoft has sold more than 70 million Xbox 360s and has a very TV-centric followup, the Xbox One, coming in November. As Forbes.com contributor Tristan Louis points out in today’s post on Smarter TVs, ”the upcoming battle for the living room is a chance to redeem itself and turn its fortune around.” The parody video that Louis refers to shows all of the instances of the words “TV,” “television,” “sports” and “Call of Duty” in the launch announcement. Although the announcement raised the ire of hard core gamers, the emphasis on TV (and perhaps the two things TVs are most used for, watching sports and playing Call of Duty) must have been highly intentional.

Games have been Microsoft’s route into the living room, but that strong association is now an impediment to its more generalized assault of the living room. Non-gamers are probably thinking more about the future AppleApple TV than about the Xbox as their upgrade path to interactive TV. In response to this perception, Microsoft has launched a new program called “Companion Web.” The idea is to facilitate real time interactions between different devices. And because Microsoft has no footprint to speak of in the world of mobile, they are now trying to emerge as a unifying force between iOS and Android.

The problem Microsoft is trying to solve (other than the risk of their own irrelevance) is that “the majority of sites on the web are built for only one device at a time.” The user can search for related information to what they are watching on their TV, for instance, but real time it ain’t. And content owners can make second screen experiences, but they have tended to be operating system (and sometimes even device) specific. Microsoft is after a more generalized solution that does not impose an unmanageable burden on developers.

“Regardless of who makes the device or software that powers the device, the Companion Web enables the internet to bridge the gap between these devices,” the IE blog post reads. “For developers, Companion Web represents an opportunity to reuse code that works across multiple scenarios, enabling greater reach and ways to engage an audience. For consumers, Companion Web means you’ll seamlessly move from one device to the next, interacting with your photos, videos, music, movies, television shows, files, and more.”

Companion Web would seem to be a more generalized version of the Xbox SmartGlass, which also allowed you to interact with your TV via Windows devices and select iOS and Android devices, but only on very specific games and content. The promise of the Companion Web is of a much broader range of experiences that the user could have between devices.

So far, Microsoft has released three such “Companion Web experiences” working with outside developers. I became aware of the program through Luke Wroblewski who has created a version of his Polar app that works in this companion manner with Internet Explorer. As you can see in the video below, Polar uses IE’s snap mode to assign a “sidebar” portion of the screen (in this case a Surface tablet acts a s a proxy for a Windows 8/Xbox One enabled TV) to itself while the user uses the balance of the screen to watch Futurama.

Wroblewski demonstrates the ways that you can find polls with Polar about Futurama and watch the results update in real time while you are watching the show. You can imagine something like this being a lot of fun for big live TV events like the Oscars or the Super Bowl, where the amount of real time activity would be high and seeing how other people are reacting becomes part of the entertainment. Similarly, you can make up your own hashtags for polls in Polar so that the reactions you are monitoring are only a select group of people. Either way, mass or niche, the real time linkage with the content on the big screen really extends the idea of the Polar app by making these interactions available to a room full of people—each potentially interacting with their own mobile devices.

And, important to note (since this is IE, after all, that we are talking about) that this all uses standard open web technology. Specifically, Wroblewski tells me, Companion Web uses web sockets to create the real time connections between devices. He says, “you can make a connection between pretty much any two ‘modern’ Web browsers regardless of device.” One of the other really interesting things about the Polar demonstration is that, as I described in a recent post, it uses a multi-device web page that enables all kinds of input (touch, mouse and keyboard) depending on device. And in the Companion Web experience, all all of these inputs can be used to control the connected screen.

What the other “modern” browsers don’t have that Internet Explorer 10 has is this snap mode. If there was one thing that iOS 7 should have copied from Windows (instead of all that flatness stuff) it would have been snap mode. So these Companion Web experiences will work across virtually all devices (because they use standard web tech) but the Xbox One will retain an advantage of being the only way to uses these “companions” on the screen simultaneously with other activities. And Polar, I think, has shown how this could become a really powerful feature.

The other two Companion Web experiments released so far do not make use of this snap mode feature. DailyBurn, see video below, uses a smartphone or tablet to get real time data related to workouts you view on your TV. This app is clearly trying to appeal to users who may need some constructive excuse to get an Xbox One.

Mix Party, introduced in the (purposely?) obnoxious video below, allows people at a party to create real time, collaborative playlists with their phones. As with Polar, the real time aspect of this is part of the entertainment value. I’m not sure if DailyBurn is intended as a solo experience or if multiple people could monitor their own individual performance of a shared video workout or not, but Mix Party and Polar clearly have real time, fact to face interactions in mind.

What is interesting to me about this strategy is that there are some extra capabilities that Microsoft has built into IE 10/Xbox One (and likely will build more) that will give it an advantage as an app enabled web TV platform, but the apps developers write will also work well on all devices. This strategy of “progressive enhancement” is a comfortable one to developers because it keeps their options open. Allowing for these entropic possibilities is a smart way to get developers on board, which, in turn, could be the means to Microsoft’s resurgence through the big screen.