Published Articles

Published Articles

Show All   Books   Articles   Interviews   Talks   Journalism

"Executable Images with PHP"
For most web developers, images are always static files. For PHP programmers, this doesn’t need to be the case. Executable images, created on-demand, can perform any programming task as well as functioning as standard images.


"Pro Parsing Techniques With PHP, Part Three: Regular Expressions"
This is the final installment of a set of three articles offering strategies for parsing text with PHP. The first article described the basics of parsing, followed by an article on developing fault tolerant parsing strategies. This article is dedicated to regular expressions.

Regular expressions, or sometimes simply called regex, represent a powerful set of tools which allow developers to split strings, perform character substitutions, and extract text based on matched patterns. The patterns, used in regular expressions, are an actual language that describe combinations of type castings and values that match the text you want to split, substitute, or extract. Regular expressions are an enormously powerful tool for the developer who understands them.


"Pro Parsing Techniques With PHP, Part Two: Fault Tolerance"
This article is part two, of a three part series, on parsing text with PHP. The previous installment dealt with basic parsing techniques; particularly how parsing becomes easier when you limit your parsing toolkit to only a few, well chosen, tools that you’ll use over and over again. This article is dedicated to fault tolerant parsing techniques.


"Pro Parsing Techniques With PHP, Part One: Simplifying Your Parsing Strategy"
Something nearly every PHP developer does is develop scripts that parse, or extract, information from text documents. There are many reasons why parsing is important, ranging from scraping information from webpages, parsing email messages, searching for specific entries in text files, or to authenticate events in a log file. And while parsing text is a common activity, there is very little instruction on how to extract desired information from a text file. This is the first of a three article series on parsing text with PHP. This installment is a quick primer on how to simplify your parsing strategy.

 ARTICLE: LINUX MAGAZINE (Cover Story)  Dec 2012 

"Build a Botnet, Playing nice with Internet Attack Techniques"
This is an article about the constructive things that can be done with destructive technologies. Most people associate botnets with nefarious activities like denial of service attacks on websites or identity fraud. I, on the other hand, associate botnets with the one I developed that autonomously purchased millions of dollars worth of automobiles.

 ARTICLE: PHP|ARCHITECT (Cover Story)  Jul 2007 

"Webbots and Spiders, An Insider's Guide"
Just after my first book was published, I wrote another introduction to writing webbots with PHP and cURL. The article explains the basics of writing automated web agents by solving a common business problem with a ShopperBot.


"Writing Intelligent Web Agents"
This article describes methods for designing and writing intelligent web agent software, which use information available on the Internet in some very "non-browser-like" ways. (now maintained by Dr. Dobbs).
This was only the second article I had written and sold. After I got paid, I drove down to REI and bought two 9' kayaks and a roof-top rack for my (cool at the time) Dodge Colt Vista.

"Fear and Hacking in Las Vegas"
Back in the '90s, I pioneered ways to transmit heart biometrics to physicians over the Internet via a standard browser and simple hardware. Because of the requirements of the medical industry, I became very interested in online security. At the same time, I became frustrated with the data security education available at the time. During this time I discovered that the hacker community was by far the best place to learn about security (it still is). I wanted to attend DEFCON 5, the world's largest hacker convention, but didn't want to offend the extremely conservative consulting firm that employed me. I found the solution to my problem by covering the story for Computer World Magazine. In the process, I got to work with a big-time photographer, Susan Werner, and had a great introduction to writing. (This was my first paying writing gig.) The article is no longer on the Computer World website, but you can read the archive of Fear and Hacking in Las Vegas on the DEFCON website.

Let's make some news
Contact Me