Kamis, 12 Juni 2008


Show your friends how you really feel.

These little characters are a great way to spice up your IM conversations and show friends how you feel. Select them from the emoticon menu or type the keyboard shortcuts directly into your message.

Emoticon Key Combination Description
puppy dog eyes :o3 puppy dog eyes
I don't know :-?? I don't know
not listening %-( not listening
pig :@) pig
cow 3:-O cow
monkey :(|) monkey
chicken ~:> chicken
rose @};- rose
good luck %%- good luck
flag **== flag
pumpkin (~~) pumpkin
coffee ~O) coffee
idea *-:) idea

Emoticon Key Combination Description
skull 8-X skull
bug =:) bug
alien >-) alien
frustrated :-L frustrated
praying [-O< praying
money eyes $-) money eyes
whistling :-" whistling
feeling beat up b-( feeling beat up
peace sign :)>- peace sign
shame on you [-X shame on you
dancing \:D/ dancing

Emoticon Key Combination Descripion
bring it on >:/ bring it on
hee hee ;)) hee hee
chatterbox :-@ chatterbox
not worthy ^:)^ not worthy
oh go on :-j oh go on
star (*) star
hiro o-> hiro
billy o=> billy
april o-+ april
yin yang (%) yin yang
bee :bz bee
transformer* [..] transformer*

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In its latest bid to thwart an attempt by billionaire investor and shareholder Carl Icahn to take over its board of directors, Yahoo Inc. yesterday sent a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission detailing the employee severance plan that would kick in if the company were acquired by another entity.

Yahoo recently has come under fire from Icahn over the severance plan, which was disclosed in a shareholder lawsuit.

Yahoo said it posted the information it shared with the SEC, which was in the form of an FAQ, on the company's intranet the same day.

On its face, the disclosure might seem a bit unusual, but according to one analyst, it was an attempt by Yahoo to publicly disseminate information it thought it had already made public.

"Yahoo [previously] made a statement that the severance plan was a matter of public record and that it had been widely communicated. But nobody I knew who covered this was aware of what [Yahoo] was talking about," said Rob Enderle, an analyst at San Jose-based Enderle Group.

Enderle said the fact that Yahoo released the information to its employees and filed it with the SEC yesterday indicates that the company had not widely disclosed it. However, Enderle said he didn't think Yahoo deliberately withheld the information. Rather, Yahoo probably thought it had disclosed the information then realized it hadn't, and then scrambled to make the information public, he said.

"It looks incredibly inept, and going into a battle with Carl Icahn looking inept is not a good strategy, Enderle said.

Yahoo could not be reached for comment.

On Monday, shareholders suing Yahoo over its handling of Microsoft Corp.'s acquisition attempt asked the judge (download PDF) to invalidate the controversial employee severance plan before the company's annual shareholders meeting on Aug. 1.

The plaintiffs claimed that Yahoo directors and top managers didn't want to sell the company to Microsoft in order to protect their own interests, and, in violation of their fiduciary duty to shareholders, they adopted a "poison pill" severance plan to sabotage the merger negotiations.

The severance plan was approved Feb. 12, shortly after Microsoft made its original offer to acquire Yahoo on Feb. 1 and would be triggered by a change in control of the company, the plaintiffs said. It would also require shareholders to re-elect the current board members in order to prevent the plan from being activated, the plaintiffs said. They also claimed that the plan would trigger a mass employee exodus.

Icahn is waging a proxy fight to persuade shareholders to boot out Yahoo's directors and replace them with his slate of candidates in the hope that a new board can entice Microsoft back to the negotiating table.

According to Icahn, the employee severance plan would cost an acquirer $2.4 billion, a figure Yahoo disputed in its SEC filing, saying a cost estimate would be based on a number of unknown variables. Yahoo said Icahn's figure assumes that all Yahoo employees leave the company. Using the same analysis that was cited by Icahn and in the shareholder lawsuit, the severance plan would cost $845 million if 30% of employees leave the company "without cause," or $514 million if 15% leave, Yahoo said.

Yahoo also said that, contrary to Icahn's interpretation of the plan, it did not implement it to "thwart a deal with Microsoft." Instead, Yahoo said the plan was intended to help retain employees and preserve the value of the company during a "period of uncertainty," without acting as a barrier to a takeover bid.

In addition, Yahoo said the board can't terminate or cancel the severance plan, despite Icahn's call for the company do so. Yahoo said if a new board of directors is elected, that board could not modify or repeal the plan for two years. If the current board is re-elected, the plan would stay in effect until the board modified or terminated it. However, if Icahn were to abandon his proxy fight, the current board could terminate the plan one month after he abandoned his fight.

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Rabu, 11 Juni 2008


The Zend Framework definitely takes a different approach than many of the other PHP frameworks (CakePHP, Zend, CodeIgniter, etc.). It really ends up being more of a collection of libraries than the others do.

In some ways, that makes positioning the Zend Framework as being substantively different from the libraries in PEAR. If you look at what the framework does, there’s not a lot of difference between it and many of the classes in PEAR. I’ll leave it to the reader to decide if these libraries were bundled into a “framework” because frameworks are the hot PHP topic right now or because they really wanted a cohesive approach to web development.

All of that aside, there’s some really useful stuff in the Zend Framework, like the Google Calendar stuff I mentioned a couple of days ago. The fact that ZF does come packaged as what amounts to a PEAR package means you can actually fairly easily use those interesting bits from inside *other* PHP frameworks.

One of the reasons I was messing with the Google Calendar stuff in the first place is that I’m *also* messing with CakePHP to build a homegrown solution for time tracking, invoicing and revenue projection for my consulting business. It’s helpful to be able to mark days like holidays and planned vacations as non-billable so you don’t include them in projections.

At any rate, I went looking for information on including bits from the Zend Framework in my Zend project. It ends up being really simple. This older article covers it pretty well and gives you an idea of how to provide “vendor” wrappers around other 3rd party PHP libraries as well.

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Jumat, 06 Juni 2008


Advanced Micro Devices Inc. today ramped up its competition with rival Intel Corp. by unveiling its first processor system designed specifically for laptops.

AMD announced the new processor -- code-named Puma -- at the Computex trade show in Taiwan. The offering includes the newly designed Turion X2 Ultra Dual-Core Mobile Processor and will be combined with the ATI Radeon HD 3000 Series graphics chips.

AMD has been a wannabe in the laptop arena by basically modifying a desktop processor for mobile needs. Puma marks the first time the company is taking direct aim at the laptop market with a targeted processor.

And it's the kind of pressure that the chip maker needs to be putting on Intel, according to Rob Enderle, an analyst at Enderle Group.

"It's been a long time coming," said Enderle. "It's been a place where they had really struggled against Intel. It's pretty costly to rearchitect a platform for mobile users. Intel knows that with the Pentium M and Centrino, and they had a lot more resources. AMD always figured they'd compete on the desktop and large form-factor laptops where they could use modified desktop chips."

The Puma processor is much more competitive with Intel's mobile offerings, he added. "We'll see how it plays out, but this shows AMD competing across all the major lines, and that's what AMD had to do," said Enderle.

AMD's financially taxing $5.4 billion purchase of ATI Technologies Inc. in 2006 may now be paying off with these new chip sets, according to Dan Olds, founder of the Gabriel Consulting Group inc.

"Laptop sales have steadily grown over the years, eclipsing desktop sales," he said. "They are big sellers for both business and consumers. Laptops have specialized needs. They have to balance cool features, like good performance and powerful graphics, with battery life and heat problems. This requires processors that are different from standard desktop and server chips. They need to optimize for low-power, low-heat, yet still be fast enough to handle a wide range of needs."

But being so late to the dance has put AMD far behind Intel in this battle. However, Intel stumbled a bit late in May, announcing that a problem with its integrated graphics chip set forced the company to postpone the launch of its new Centrino 2 laptop system. The delay could be the foot in the door that AMD has been looking for.

With the big back-to-school buying season quickly coming up, AMD will have the advantage of touting its new chips while Intel labors to get its own out the door.

"Yes, this might give them a window, assuming that what they bring to the market is compelling and timely," said Olds. "Same old problem for AMD: They need to get stuff to the market faster, and it has to be better than the alternatives."

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Rabu, 28 Mei 2008


Mozilla Corp. decided today to roll out a second release candidate for Firefox 3.0 that will include fixes for about 40 bugs. The alternative was to declare the open-source browser good "as is," then patch the problems with a later update.

Firefox 3.0's final release will be delayed about five days, according to notes from a Tuesday meeting that Mozilla posted to its site.

"As discussed at today's Firefox 3.0 meeting, we've decided that there is sufficient need to produce a new Release Candidate before shipping," said Mike Beltzner, Mozilla's lead developer, in an e-mail. "Due to the time required to complete some other external dependencies, we don't expect that this will significantly impact our shipping date, and still estimate a mid-June release date."

Release Candidate 2 (RC2) will be closed as "code complete" tomorrow, a tight timetable possible only because most of the issues uncovered by testers in the first release candidate have already been patched, reviewed and approved. "Because of the early start we got last week identifying the bugs that would be part of an RC2, which, at that time, was speculative, we're in really good shape," added Beltzner.

Only three of approximately 40 identified bugs have not yet "landed," or completed Mozilla's
review and approval process. About a fourth of the bugs Mozilla's planning to patch in RC2 are changes in localized versions of the browser.

Last week, Mozilla highlighted 10 notable bugs that it said it would consider as it made a choice between RC2 and a later update, dubbed "3.0.1", that would be released several weeks after Firefox 3.0 shipped.

One of those bugs, a performance issue limited to Linux, got attention this morning before the RC2 go/no go meeting. "This was discussed at the [last] Tuesday meeting and is a decent perf[ormance] win if we can get this in," read the early notes. "It tends to make the UI unusable when the user hits this state, so it should be considered for an RC2."

The Linux bug got attention in part because of a blog post by Jason Clinton, who works for Advanced Clustering Technologies Inc., a Kansas City, Kan., company that specializes in cluster-based systems and Linux servers. A week ago, Clinton took Mozilla to task over its then-reaction to the bug, which he said showed the company's "second-class" support for the open-source operating system.

Friday, however, after developers had gone back and forth on Bugzilla, Mozilla's bug-tracking database and management system, and come up with two possible solutions, Clinton changed his tune. "Mozilla really stepped up and has demonstrated that they do consider Linux a first-class platform," he wrote in a follow-up post.

If Mozilla adheres to its posted schedule, it will release Firefox 3.0 RC2 sometime after June 5. Previously, Mozilla has said it requires at least a week between debuting a release candidate and -- assuming no major problems crop up -- calling that build final.

Firefox 3.0 will be the first major upgrade to the browser since October 2006, but perhaps not the only one this year. Mozilla's head of engineering last week said that Mozilla may ship another upgrade, tentatively labeled Firefox 3.1, before the end of the year in order to add features that didn't make it into Firefox 3.0. Among the pieces which weren't ready in time for 3.0 but would be for 3.1, Mozilla has cited support for Cross-site XMLHttpRequest, a specification that lets a Web page draw information from servers behind firewalls, and additional performance tuning.

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