Amazon Prime Video's weird Unicode problems

by @edent | # # # | 1 comment | Read ~111 times.
Description with an error in it.

It's 2019 and high-tech devices are still plagued by text encoding bugs. I recently bought the new 4K Amazon Fire Stick. It's a little Android dongle which plays videos. It's neat - but quite often displays weird text errors. Take the kids' TV show House of Anubis, the Fire displays the description like this: Looking… Continue reading →

Domain hacks with unusual Unicode characters

by @edent | # # # # | 2 comments | Read ~9,757 times.

Unicode contains a range of symbols which don't get much use. For example, there are separate symbols for TradeMark - ™, Service Mark - ℠, and Prescriptions - ℞. Nestling among the "Letterlike Symbols" are two curious entries. Both of these are single characters: Telephone symbol - ℡ Numero Sign - № What's interesting is… Continue reading →

Forbidden Unicode

by @edent | # # | 2 comments | Read ~634 times.

I have been receiving letters from a dear friend by the name of Ophiuchus. He has been researching some curious anomalies in the Unicode Standard. While I cannot vouch for all he has written, I thought it worth presenting his discoveries to you. My friend, I bring you a curiosity! I have been engaged in… Continue reading →

Why Android Pie Won't Be Getting the Copyleft Symbol

by @edent | # # | Read ~466 times.
Wikipedia Copyleft page. The icon is a blank box.

Google is a company with nearly unlimited resources. It often chooses to use its power for the greater good of the Internet. Creating amazing projects like digitizing every printed book, bringing Internet access via high-altitude balloons, and offering high-quality language translation. And sometimes it just gets bored and abandons them. Google Noto is such a… Continue reading →

Virgin Media don't understand Unicode

by @edent | # # | 1 comment | Read ~320 times.
HTML code from Virgin.

More adventures with Unicode. I logged in to my Virgin Media account to see when my promotional discount would end. Here's what their billing PDF said. Let'S Ignore The Weird Capitalisation Virgin'S System Uses. What's that  doing there? Their website says: No  symbol, but also no £ sign. Ah, but let's look at… Continue reading →

Obsolete Technology in Unicode

by @edent | # # # | 6 comments | Read ~279 times.
Screenshot of the Unicode standard. The page shows symbols for Telephone Receivers, Pagers, and Fax Machines.

A short meander through some of the more obscure miscellany within Unicode. Languages hang around far longer than there are native speakers, and symbols get reused and repurposed (🍆). Here are some of the delightfully old-fashioned symbols hidden in your thoroughly modern smartphone. Tapes Long before solid-state drives, we used to record data on long… Continue reading →

Pursuit Podcast - Life, The Unicode, And Everything

by @edent | # # #
A beautiful hand drawing showing the flow of the conversation

The inimitable Jess Rose interviewed me for her Pursuit Podcast - talking about the Unicode Power Symbol proposal. We talked about how to subvert bureaucracy, building a team of supporters, adding new stuff to Unicode, and recognising that you're a background character in most people's lives. Bit of a ramble, but jolly good fun. Sketchnotes… Continue reading →

únicode is hard

by @edent | # # | 15 comments | Read ~29,018 times.

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… Continue reading →

Where do these arrows point?

by @edent | # # # # # | 7 comments | Read ~240 times.

This is a blog post about user interfaces. I was wandering along the beach one day, when I noticed some clever chap had drawn some arrows in the sand. Can you guess where they led? The more astute of you will have realised that these are not human drawn arrows. They are, of course, footprints… Continue reading →

How Do You Sort Chinese Numbers?

by @edent | # # # # | 1 comment | Read ~617 times.

Imagine you have a series of number you wish to sort. Sorting is a well known computer science problem - generally speaking you compare one value to the next and then move the item either up or down a list. With "English" characters, that's fairly easy. When a computer sees the character 1 it's really… Continue reading →