Scraping IMDB With PHP

For an upcoming project, I need to pull in metadata about movies and TV shows — genres, plot summaries, actors, etc. The de-facto source is, of course, IMDB. Unfortunately, they’re behind the times and don’t offer an API to access their data. (At least not one that I’ve ever found.) So, here’s a quick PHP class that takes a movie title (doesn’t have to be exact) or a filename (!) and scrapes IMDB for the relevant info. Using the scraper is simple. <?PHP $m = new MediaInfo(); $info = $m->getMovieInfo(‘American Beauty’); print_r($info); will output: Array ( [kind] => movie [id] …

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Two Weeks With Drobo

So it’s been two weeks since my Drobo arrived from Amazon. I’m sure they’re selling like hotcakes, but I don’t personally know anyone else with one — I figured I might as well gather my thoughts and post a review. Hopefully this will give a good overview if you’re not already familiar with the device. If you are, I’ll be including a couple features that surprised me — so keep reading. What’s a Drobo? In a nutshell, Drobo is an external device that takes four hard drives and makes them appear as a combined, larger one to your Mac or …

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Quickly Evaluate Your Referral Links

Clever solution from Daniel Jalkut of Red Sweater Software to speed up reading referral links pointing to your website. His script highlights the relevant sections so you can quickly scan down to what was said about you.

Using Amazon S3 as a Content Delivery Network

[Update: You might also be interested in s3up for storing static content in Amazon S3.] Earlier this week I posted about my experience redesigning this site, focusing on optimizing my page load times using YSlow. A large part of that process involved storing static content (images, stylesheets, JavaScript) on Amazon S3 and using it like a poor man’s content delivery network (CDN). I made some hand-waving references to a deploy script I wrote which handles syncing content to S3 and also adding expiry headers and gzipping that data. A couple users emailed asking for more info, so, here goes. Why …

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Building a Better Website With Yahoo!

It’s been a long time coming, but I finally pushed out a new design for this website last month. I rebuilt it from the ground up using two key tools from the Yahoo! Developer Network: YUI Grids and YSlow The new design is really a refresh of the previous look with a focus on readability and speed. I want to take a few minutes and touch on what I learned during this go-round so (hopefully) others might benefit. Color Scheme Although I really liked the darker color scheme from before, it was too hard to read. There simply wasn’t enough …

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