Archive for April, 2006

Skype: 100,000,000 Users and Counting

If you go to the Skype home page at the right time tomorrow, you can watch the user counter roll to 100,000,000. (As of 6:12 Pacific it’s at 99,911,164.)

That means the Skype userbase has almost doubled since eBay bought it last fall. Wow.

The Economist on “New Media”

There I was, peacefully reading The Economist.

I made it through the essay advocating kicking Rummy to the curb. I made it through the piece on Hamas. I thought it was safe to venture into the “SPECIAL REPORT ON NEW MEDIA.”

I was wrong.

It started innocently enough, with a review of Ben and Mina. No surprise finding them here.

But then came the unexpected. Out of the blue.

Hardcore quotations from one Jeremy Zawodny, “a prominent blogger and software engineer at Yahoo!, an internet portal.”

Man am I jealous. That lucky bastard. :)

eBay Express is Live

We’ve finally rolled out eBay Express, our new fixed-price shopping site. In fine Web 2.0 fashion, it’s a beta (well, technically, it’s a preview). However, I’ve been playing with an internal release for a few weeks now and it’s already in quite fine shape.

Heading to Germany for eBay Live! Germany and Entwicklertag

I’m heading to Dusseldorf, Germany for eBay Developer Day (Entwicklertag) and eBay Live! Germany. If it’s anything like eBay Live! US, it should be a blast.

My talk is on “Software innovations from the US,” which (fortunately for me) appears to be in English. All the other talks are in German. :) I’m looking forward to seeing my friends at eBay Germany again and meeting a number of new German eBay developers.

Right now, I’m scheduled to work May 26-28, but I will either arrive a few days early or stay a few days late. What should I do? It’s my first time in Germany, so I’m open to anything. I’m trying to stay somewhere near the Dusseldorn / Frankfurt area, so I don’t spend all my time travelling, but I’m open to anything.

Also, if you can’t make it to Dusseldorf, I’m able and willing to talk to any Germany user groups about eBay Web services (or PHP). Let me know if you’re interested in setting up a user group meeting, or you just want to hang out.

Did you know about PHP’s old_function?

I was reviewing Upgrading to PHP 5 today and I came across this lovely section in Appendix B, which I had completely forgotten about:

PHP/FI had a quirky function declaration syntax:

function sum $a, $b (
    return($a + $b);

This was changed in PHP 3, but you could continue to use the old form in PHP 3 and PHP 4 if you declared your function as an old_function:

old_function sum $a, $b (
    return($a + $b);

Alas, after six years, this backward compatibility feature is now gone. Another nostalgic remnant of PHP/FI has passed away.

I must say, I used PHP/FI, but I never resorted to the old_function hack to ease my PHP 3 migration issues.

Did anybody ever use this?