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4 Things Making Life Easier for PHP Developers

PHP Computer Code
Though some developers have walked away from PHP and aren’t looking back, InfoWorld’s Serdar Yegulalp notes that the last several years have seen changes that make the PHP world a more pleasant place to be. He thinks these four are the most important: Click here to see PHP-related jobs. Package Management Rather than depend on the notably difficult PEAR (PHP Extension and Application Repository) for package management, you can now use Composer, which tracks packages on a project-by-project basis, making… continue…

Facebook’s New Privacy Issue Highlights Need for Transparency

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 9.25.54 AM
Anyone signing up for Facebook must agree to the social network’s Terms of Use, which opens user-generated data to everything from data analytics to product testing. The majority of the time, Facebook keeps its capitalization (some might call it exploitation) of user data firmly in the background; your postings might end up used in a system-wide test, but you’ll never know about it. So it was surprising when, over the weekend, news leaked that Facebook had manipulated the news feeds… continue…

Surprise! Facebook’s Workforce is White and Male, Too

Facebook Tech Team Diversity
Facebook has released figures showing the diversity of its workforce and, as with Google and Yahoo before it, the numbers depict a company that’s overwhelmingly male and white. Men constitute 69 percent of the company’s overall employee base, and 85 percent of the technical team. Fifty seven percent of the overall workforce is white, while 34 percent is Asian, 4 percent is Hispanic and 2 percent is black. Looking at technical employees, 53 percent are white, 41 percent are Asian,… continue…

Bloomberg Testing Real-World App for Oculus Rift

Posted In Living in Tech
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So far, the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset has found its most widespread use in gaming. But as the device rises in prominence, more companies are testing its capabilities as a work tool. Bloomberg is one of those companies, having designed software that allows Oculus-equipped traders and financial pros to view dozens of virtual “screens,” each one packed with data. The platform is clearly aimed at those Masters of the Universe who stack their real-world desks with four, six or eight… continue…

Tech Firms Top List of Best-Paying Companies

Posted In Looking in Tech
Counting Money
Glassdoor’s just unveiled a list of top companies for compensation and benefits. The point of the survey isn’t to measure “happiness”—there’s another list for that—but instead to shed light on whose employees are the most satisfied with the very basic foundation blocks of employment: pay, benefits and perks. Fourteen of the 25 companies listed are in tech, including four of the top five: Google topped the list, Facebook was No. 3, followed by Adobe and Epic Systems (Costco held the… continue…

What Are the Next Big Developer Skills?

Posted In Looking in Tech
Most Desired Software Skills Graphic
The latest data from Dice suggests that employers want software developers who’re experts in well-established technologies such as .NET, C++, and HTML. But IT is a rapidly evolving field, which begs the question—what will the employers of tomorrow want, skills-wise, from developers? Before taking a stab at that question, it’s worth examining the particular skills currently in demand by employers. On Dice, hiring managers searched thousands of times between January 1 and April 15 of this year for software developers,… continue…

Twitch, Slingshot Suggest Big Companies’ Future Is Small Apps

Posted In Looking in Tech
Twitch
Facebook may have missed out on buying Snapchat, but that hasn’t cooled the company’s ardor for disappearing-messages apps—or the audiences that come with them: The Financial Times reports that Facebook’s engineers are hard at work on an “ephemeral messaging” platform that would vaporize videos and photos after a single view. Facebook recently discontinued Poke, its two-year-old app that replicated much of Snapchat’s functionality, after it failed to gain much of an audience. This new attempt, reportedly named “Slingshot,” will likely… continue…

Want to Upgrade Your App? Consider Breaking It Apart

Swarm by Fourquare Logo
Facebook, Foursquare and other tech companies are taking an odd approach to upgrading their core apps. Instead of adding new features or shinier buttons, these firms are breaking their apps apart. Foursquare split off many of its main app’s social functions into Swarm, which focuses on friends and check-ins; the new, leaner Foursquare app will allow users to search for nearby restaurants and other points of interest. Facebook seems determined to parse its “main” mobile app into as many standalone… continue…

A New Use for Oculus Rift: Driving a Tank

Posted In Looking in Tech
Oculus Rift in Tank
The Oculus Rift headset immerses its wearer in a virtual world, a fact that excites game developers. But the Norwegian Armed Forces might have a more practical use for Oculus Rift than playing war games—it’s testing whether troops can use the hardware to drive actual tanks. Part of the motivation behind the test is cost: An Oculus Rift headset, combined with a handful of $2,000 cameras and a commercial PC, is far cheaper than equivalent hardware built for military use.… continue…

Facebook Has Lots of New F8 Toys for Developers

Facebook F8 Conference
At this year’s F8 conference, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that his company’s internal motto had shifted from “Move fast and break things” to “Move fast with stable infrastructure.” That new motto, while nowhere near as catchy as the old one, is meant to encapsulate Facebook as the social network matures into a tech behemoth with more than a billion users worldwide. The focus is no longer on speedy user growth; instead, it’s about encouraging third-party developers to build software… continue…