Category Archives: Code & Technology

Showing more of your LinkedIn profile with WP-LinkedIn

Since I released the WP-LinkedIn plugin for WordPress I got this same request coming regularly about how to add this or that profile information to the output of the plugin. Here is an example that will show you how to add the headline for the recommender. Continue reading

Image Credits: Jerry Luk

The best way to integrate your LinkedIn profile with WordPress

I heard or read someone, recently, saying that LinkedIn was nothing more than a glorified resume. Well, 10 years ago this was certainly true and I was not looking for anything more. I had ditched the Word documents since a long time and was distributing my résumé in PDF format, despite some recruiters stubbornly asking me Word documents. Continue reading

Image Credits: Jerry Luk

Print me up Scotty!

3D printing just got to a new level with the worlds smallest 3D printed objects (go read this and watch the video, I’ll be waiting here).

3D printing is a subject I have been discussing often with friends and I even mentioned it in a previous post, here (in French), about IP and piracy. This is a revolution I cannot wait to see because this is gonna be huge on so many levels!

And the music/movie download issues will be nothing compared to the IP mayhem this is gonna bring, just imagine when anyone will be able to print a Panton chair or a Starck lemon squeezer.

And just think about what will be possible with copyleft designs, we might even have a Justin Bieber of design (tho I am not really looking forward for this one)!

And we will be able to download items we buy from Amazon.

This is the beginning of teleportation too! As soon as someone develop a good enough scanner (can TSA’s full body scanners be of any use here? or this may be?) we will be able to scan and send items through the Internet to our friends’ 3D printers.

This is gonna be so awesome! And just imagine when we will be able to print biological structures :D

Image Credits: Vienna University of Technology

And you think 160 is not enough?

SMS are not 160 characters long, they are 140 bytes long! This is what I discovered today after my SO complained that her mobile operator was charging her for SMS she never sent…

And when you know how computers are working, it totally makes sense!

“So what?” are you going to ask? So, this is again a nice example of character encodings drive you crazy. According to wikipedia there are 3 encodings used in text messages which respectively use 7bits, 8bits and 16bits to encode a single character.

Depending on the characters you used in your message your phone is going to decide what encoding to use, thus reducing the maximum number of characters to, respectively, 160, 140 and 70 (and even less, see later). Any extra character will lead to the splitting of your message into multiple SMS and, obviously, a raise in your bill.

By default the 7bit encoding used is GSM 03.38, which has the following 128 characters alphabet: @, £, $, ¥, è, é, ù, ì, ò, Ç, LF, Ø, ø, CR, Å, å, Δ, _, Φ, Γ, Λ, Ω, Π, Ψ, Σ, Θ, Ξ, ESC, Æ, æ, ß, É, SP, !, “, #, ¤, {5f676304cfd4ae2259631a2f5a3ea815e87ae216a7b910a3d060a7b08502a4b2}, &, ‘, (, ), *, +, ,, -, ., /, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, :, ;, <, =, >, ?, ¡, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z, Ä, Ö, Ñ, Ü, §, ¿, a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z, ä, ö, ñ, ü, à

If you use only those characters, then you text messages can have 160 characters, however, any character outside of this alphabet will mean the use of a different encoding. And if you are using exotic scripts, your messages will be encoded in UTF-16 and in this encoding a Chinese character, for example, will take up to 4 bytes, reducing the maximum length of you Chinese message to 35 characters max.

I guess that now that smart phones are supporting international scripts and transparently breaking up text messages, a lot of people get trapped. The only recommendation I can think of is to enable your phone to display the character count when you type text messages, I noticed that my iPhone is changing the maximum number of characters according to the encoding it’s going to use to send my message.

If you want to know more about character encodings I absolutely recommend the following article by Joel Spolsky: The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!)

UPDATE: At Stephanie’s request here is how to activate message count on your iPhone (at least on my 3GS with iOS 4.1).

Go to your iPhone settings, scroll down to “Messages” then toggle “Character Count” on. When you write a text message the count will show up only if you have at least two lines of text :)

Image Credits: Steve Webel