Bing Undergoes Redesign

I would guess not many of you have noticed this, since much of our audience probably regards Bing as a joke, but the team over at Bing has redesigned their search results pages. The page is now much cleaner than it once was, with a true no-nonsense feel. The only items on the page are the search results, one or two ads and a list of related searches.

In addition to cleaning up the overall design by removing all of the color splashes and by moving the related search list from the left to the right, they’ve also removed your search history and the ability to narrow your search results by time period.

Although the page’s color palette now resemble Google more than it ever has before, the actual layout of the page is much more minimal than Google’s current design. Below, I’ve included a comparison of Bing and Google. Both searches were performed within an incognito window, so I am not signed into either service. If you’re interested in more details about the redesign, you can view the official post on the Bing blog.

Where’d My Stats Go?

Google had a grand announcement the other day that many people probably didn’t even notice: Google Search over SSL.  If you’re not sure what this means, Wikipedia has a decent article on SSL but here’s a quick blurb:

…Secure Socket Layer (SSL), [is a] cryptographic protocol that provides security for communications over networks such as the Internet. …SSL encrypts the segments of network connections at the Transport Layer.

In English this means is that SSL protects data between your computer and the server that you’re connecting to (in this case, Google’s servers).  While I agree that securing your connection is smart for those times when you’re browsing on an unprotected hot spot, there are also some technical implications that this has on your browsing experience.  Google pages may load slower and many of the links to services that your normally get won’t appear (at least until they have SSL enabled too).

Batch Rename Files in *nix

Every once in a while, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to rename a whole batch of files on your Web server. In my case, I find this especially useful when someone provides me with a folder full of friendly-named files (files that contain spaces, special characters, etc.) and I want to make them a little more Web-friendly. On Linux and Unix-based computers, it’s really simple to do this from the command line. To do so, simply use a command similar to the following:

Find an Item in an Array (PHP)

On occasion, I’m sure you’ve found yourself in a position where you need to find an item inside of an array. PHP offers a very simple method to do just that. The array_search function lets you search for the item and then tells you what the index for that item is. This function works with numerically indexed arrays and with associative arrays.

Finding and Replacing the First or Last Substring in a String

search-replace-graphicI found this image on using Google Image search.

Today, I found myself in a position where I needed to find a substring within a larger string and then replace the last occurrence of that substring. I started out using the str_ireplace function, but quickly realized there was no way to add an offset or a limit to that function. I then started searching the Internet for a solution. I came across a handful of places where someone had asked to replace the first instance of the substring, but all of the answers seemed to recommend using the preg_replace function (which allows you to set a limit).

With no good answer, I decided to set out and build my own function to do this. I have not tested the performance of this function to determine whether it’s slower or faster than using preg_replace, but I would imagine it’s probably faster (I’d love for someone to benchmark the comparison using a variety of string lengths to find out for sure, though).