Building an “On This Day” site for your Twitter Account

by @edent | # # # | 2 comments | Read ~128 times.
Several columns of Tweets. Each one from a previous year.

I wanted to see what I was Tweeting on this exact day last year. And all the years before. So I built a website! It’s a disgusting hack, and I’m truly sorry for unleashing it on you. Using the API You can’t. The Twitter search API only goes back 7 days. This whole idea would…

Continue reading →

PGP Sign Your Twitter Messages

by @edent | # # # | 3 comments | Read ~2,814 times.
Message saying "Read alt text for PGP sig".

I’m not sure if I’m the first person to do this – but I’m going to claim credit anyway! Hello! This Tweet has been signed with my PGP Key. — Terence Eden (@edent) May 14, 2020 You can verify by pasting the alt text into – or by using your favourite command line…

Continue reading →

Finding your most popular Tweets

by @edent | # # # | 1 comment
The Twitter logo drawn in circles.

Twitter’s search interface has all sorts of lovely and obscure options. My three favourites are “min_retweets:”, “min_replies:”, and “min_faves:” Using those filters, you can create a search for Tweets which meet a certain threshold. For example, here are my Tweets which have been liked more than 500 times: min_faves:500 Here are the ones which…

Continue reading →

Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Feynman

by @edent | # # # | 5 comments | Read ~1,552 times.
La mort, c'est un peu comme la connerie. Le mort, lui, il ne sait pas qu'il est mort. Ce sont les autres qui sont tristes. Le con, c'est pareil.

There are lots of celelbrities and famous academics on Twitter. Then there’s Professor Richard Feynman. Who died in 1988. Every so often, one of “his” pearls of wisdom is regurgitated into my Twitter feed. When you are dead, you don't know you are dead. It's pain only for others. It's the same thing when you…

Continue reading →

How I’d redesign Twitter (and why it won’t work)

by @edent | # # # | 4 comments | Read ~174 times.
The Twitter logo drawn in circles.

Way back when Blackberry was the smartphone, my team at Vodafone obsessed over the idea of the “Unified Inbox”. “What if,” the marketing chaps said, “you could see all your notifications in one place!” Imagine a single inbox where your MySpace friend requests mingled with your Email. And your Facebook and Google Buzz notifications were…

Continue reading →


by @edent | # # | Read ~695 times.
List of Tweets where people have pasted a link to their local machine.

Once in a while, I’ll see someone Tweet a “link” to file:///C:/users/… – that’s the Microsoft Windows way of representing a location on a filesystem. Usually this means that the user has tried to either drag ‘n’ drop something, or copied a link from their file explorer. There are some (mild) infosec risks you should…

Continue reading →

Everything you know about Twitter character counting is wrong

by @edent | # # # | Read ~212 times.
Japanese text pasted into the Twitter compose window. It is showing that there are too many characters.

How many characters can a Tweet contain? It used to be 140, back in the good old days. Now it’s 280. Unless you’re Japanese. Let me explain… I run OpenBenches – a site which collects memorial benches. When a user adds a bench, the inscription is automatically Tweeted. If the inscription is longer than 280…

Continue reading →

Posting Audio to Twitter

by @edent | # # #
The Twitter logo.

You can’t post raw audio to Twitter directly. It sucks. Sure, you can post links to audio, but it’s not quite the same. Here’s a couple of Linux one-liners which will turn audio into simple video suitable for uploading to social media. Waves This converts audio to a waveform: ffmpeg -i input.mp3 -filter_complex “[0:a]showwaves=s=640×480:mode=line,format=yuv420p[v]” -map…

Continue reading →

Hashtag Steganography

by @edent | # # # | Read ~404 times.

Steganography (/ˌstɛɡəˈnɒɡrəfi/ is the practice of concealing a file, message, image, or video within another file, message, image, or video. I recently saw someone tweeting the hashtag #ManchesُterDerby Do you see an odd character in the middle? It’s an Arabic Damma (U+064F) – a vowel character. Although it comes after the “s” in Manchester, it…

Continue reading →

Why doesn’t Twitter block Tweets properly?

by @edent | # # | Read ~392 times.
A quote tweet. The quoted content is unavailable.

For the sake of my mental health, I’ve blocked a few people and organisations on Twitter. They can’t see what I do, and I can’t see them. I’m sure you’ve done the same to a celebrity or pundit you just can’t stand the sight of. Perhaps you have an abuser you’d rather not have thrust…

Continue reading →