Archive for the ‘Software Development’ Category


Stephen Wolfram: Computing a theory of everything

by TED Talks - 8 June 2010

So I want to talk today about an idea. It’s a big idea. Actually, I think it’ll eventually be seen as probably the single biggest idea that’s emerged in the past century. It’s the idea of computation. Now, of course, that idea has brought us all of the computer technology we have today and so on. But there’s actually a lot more to computation than that. It’s really a very deep, very powerful, very fundamental idea, whose effects we’ve only just begun to see.

Well, I myself have spent the past 30 years of my life working on three large projects that really try to take the idea of computation seriously. So I started off at a young age as a physicist using computers as tools. Then, I started sort of drilling down, thinking about the computations I might want to do, trying to figure out what primitives they could be built up from and how they could be automated as much as possible. Eventually, I created a whole structure based on symbolic programming and so on that let me build Mathematica. And for the past 23 years, at an increasing rate, we’ve been pouring more and more ideas and capabilities and so on into Mathematica, and I’m happy to say that’s led to many good things in R and D and education, lots of other areas. Well, I have to admit, actually, that I also had a very selfish reason for building Mathematica. I wanted to use it myself, a bit like Galileo got to use his telescope 400 years ago. But I wanted to look, not at the astronomical universe, but at the computational universe.

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Generate PDFs Dynamically With PHP

by webmonkey - 21 September 2009

PDF logoPDF is the Portable Document Format developed by Adobe. It’s an open standard implemented by Adobe in their Acrobat series of software, but implementable and extensible by anybody who’s got the time, inclination, and knack. One trick that’s got a lot of potential is using PHP to dynamically generate PDF files and serve them via the web.

PHP can do a lot for your web operation (Tutorial:PHP Tutorial for Beginners). You can generate nice-looking printable receipts, invoices, and brochures. Disc-Cover has a test site that looks up info about a CD automatically and then generates a PDF label for the CD box that you can print, cut out, and use. And there are literally one billion other possible uses for dynamically generated PDFs.

So what are you waiting for?

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Evan Williams on listening to Twitter users

by TED Talks - 29 July 2009

Four years ago, on the TED stage, I announced a company I was working with at the time called Odeo. And because of that announcement, we got a big article in the New York Times, which led to more press, which led to more attention, and me deciding to become CEO of that company — whereas I was just an adviser — and raising a round of venture capital and ramping up hiring.

One of the guys I hired was an engineer named Jack Dorsey, and a year later we were trying to decide which way to go with Odeo, and Jack presented an idea he’d been tinkering around with for a number of years that was based around sending simple status updates to friends. We were also playing with SMS at the time at Odeo, so we kind of put two and two together, and in early 2006 we launched Twitter as a side project at Odeo.

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