únicode is hard


Receipts with a missing pound sign

In the last couple of months, I've been seeing the ú symbol on British receipts. Why? 1963 - ASCII In the beginning* was ASCII. A standard way for computers to exchange text. ASCII was originally designed with 7 bits - that means 128 possible symbols. That ought to be enough for everyone, right? Wrong! ASCII […] Read More

Whatever happened to URI Schemes?


A web browser showing an error message that it didn't undetand a protocol

A few days ago, I ranted about how chat apps have poor support for URI schemes. By "Chat Apps", I'm talking about the new wave of messengers - WhatsApp, WeChat, Telegram, Wire, and the like. What do I mean by "URI Scheme"? You're probably familiar with: https://example.com The "scheme" is https - it tells the […] Read More

What Time Is It?


All telegrams included a date time group using Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). A telegram from the British Embassy Washington sent on “170356Z JULY 03” refers to a telegram sent at...

For a bit of light reading, I've been going through some of the documents published by Sir John Chilcot's Iraq Inquiry. There are thousands of Telegrams, eGrams, Teleletters, and other miscellaneous communications. For those unfamiliar with the jargon, the inquiry have helpfully published a guide to reading the evidence. In it is this delightful titbit […] Read More

I'm in an RFC!


Friends, allow me to wallow in a little boasting! Four years ago, I made a modest proposal for a new HTTP Code to indicate censorship. A few days ago, RFC 7725: An HTTP Status Code to Report Legal Obstacles became an approved standard by the Internet Engineering Task Force. This allows a website, proxy, or […] Read More

Hashtag Standards


This is one of the longest and geekiest posts I've done. It's a work in progress. All comments and abuse welcome. #hashtag – As long has there has been a way to search Tweets* people have been adding information to make the easy to find. The #hashtag syntax has become the standard for attaching a […] Read More