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International Longest Tweet Contest Seeks Entries

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the shannon-sighs dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 99

An anonymous reader writes "The 1st International Longest Tweet Contest is open for submissions until April 12. It looks to be a take-off of the famous Obfuscated C Contest. So far the record is 4.2 kilobits encoded per tweet, based on exploiting the fact that Twitter actually passes the full 31 bits of ISO 10646 (the international standard that Unicode is based on), not the roughly 20.08 bits/character of Unicode itself."

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99 comments

still useless (4, Insightful)

Miseph (979059) | about 4 years ago | (#31618226)

Huh, that's weird... I still don't have any use for twitter whatsoever.

I mean, I guess I could update the entire world every time I eat something or run an errand... but to be honest, I can't see why anyone who doesn't already know would care, and if they did I think I'd be a bit creeped out by it.

Guess I'm just crazy.

Re:still useless (4, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#31618342)

Suppose you wanted someone to hear you about how you think Twitter is useless? I suppose you could use twitter to broadcast it. You'd probably get more people to read it than /.

Re:still useless (3, Insightful)

snowraver1 (1052510) | about 4 years ago | (#31619606)

I doubt it, unless you happen to be Brittney Spears, or Kae$ha or some other pop culture icon. Slashdot has many many readers and doesn't restrict you to 140 characters, a feature that also allows you to post an elegant post to describe all about the uselessness of it.

I hate the word twitter, however it is fitting I suppose. I can't wait until twitter fades away...

Re:still useless (3, Informative)

sootman (158191) | about 4 years ago | (#31619792)

Really? I'd think it's just the opposite. Even a lowly-rated comment here will be read by hundreds, if not thousands, whereas if you're just some loser on Twitter with no followers, anything you post will probably be read by no one at all.

Re:still useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31625352)

slashdot is twitter for all the "..lame loser on twitter with no followers" out there :)

Re:still useless (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#31625670)

Really? I'd think it's just the opposite. Even a lowly-rated comment here will be read by hundreds, if not thousands, whereas if you're just some loser on Twitter with no followers, anything you post will probably be read by no one at all.

Twitter has the live feed. You make a tweet, and anyone trollin' will read your tweet, whether they are following you or not.

Re:still useless (0, Flamebait)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 4 years ago | (#31618356)

Huh, that's weird... I still don't have any use for twitter whatsoever.

Personally, I've always found the name Twitter appropriate because AFAICT Twitter is just for twits.

Re:still useless (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31618394)

Maybe your life is borring? People I follow usually do more interesting things than just eat and run errands.

Re:still useless (5, Informative)

dotgain (630123) | about 4 years ago | (#31618502)

^ this.

It's not all about you. I don't tweet much, but I find the service invaluable (though also potentially distracting) as a means of "keeping up with what's going on".

By the time the 6 O'clock news rolls around each evening, there's nothing on there I haven't already learned. Extreme weather alert? Tweeted. Sure, by looking at the "live feed" I can see that 80% of the tweets are moronic drivel, so I don't follow morons. I follow people I was already interested in before, and through that learn of other people who say things I follow interesting (thanks to people I follow "re-tweeting" them).

Once upon a time I couldn't see what all the fuss was about and found humour in the name, but when it hit me what you can use it for it was amazing. I now only miss tweets of people I follow when I'm asleep.

Re:still useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31618712)

I use Facebook for that. And I can also send friends longer messages, check out pics of their latest vacations, and lots of other stuff. Or just keep it to status updates, like Twitter seems to be. Maybe it's just that everyone I know or care about uses Facebook that I don't see the point of Twitter at all.

Re:still useless (2, Informative)

dotgain (630123) | about 4 years ago | (#31620416)

It could be that, I use both FB and Twitter for very different things. One big difference twitter does not use mutual "Friendships", you do not necessarily follow back people who follow you. On FB I never friend people I don't know (and only have 32 in the list), on twitter it's a different story, and many of my actual friends don't have accounts. Similarly, many people I do not know follow me, but that's fine, I consider twitter my "public" account. You can protect your twitter feed and manually approve followers; in my experience few people do.

Re:still useless (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 years ago | (#31619246)

By the time the 6 O'clock news rolls around each evening, there's nothing on there I haven't already learned.

Are you so shallow as to believe that the only people who have anything interesting to share are the people you are "following"? That those few dozen people you "follow" are the conduit by which anything that's important that's happening in the world will come to you?

It's one thing to use Twitter as a casual communication device among your social circle. To use it as your source of news and information is unbelievably short-sighted.

Think of what your statement says. "..there's nothing on there I haven't already learned". You are getting less information about the world than the guy sitting in the cave watching shadows on the wall.

And who still watches the "6 O'Clock News"? 1965 called... Are you saying that before Twitter you got all your news from "The 6-O'Clock News"? You watching Huntley and Brinkley or what?

Re:still useless (1)

AndrewBC (1675992) | about 4 years ago | (#31620094)

I suppose it's a good thing that none of us participate in some kind of news aggregation site, because that would render your ranting null.

.. Oh wait...

Re:still useless (1)

dotgain (630123) | about 4 years ago | (#31620354)

Are you so shallow as to believe that the only people who have anything interesting to share are the people you are "following"? That those few dozen people you "follow" are the conduit by which anything that's important that's happening in the world will come to you?

You have no idea which people and organisations (yes, newspapers tweet) I follow. Having headlines tweeted means I see them sooner, and without specifically visiting the site. Sure, I can get this with RSS, but I can get so much more with twitter. You completely don't understand the point of following the feeds I'm interested in, and not following the other stuff, so I can (for just one example) get my hypothetical "6 O'Clock news" fill, but on my terms.

I also suspect you don't realise that people often use hyperlinks in their tweets so you can read full articles if the headline piques their curiosity. Actually, the more I think about, you probably don't know anything about twitter.

Re:still useless (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 years ago | (#31624176)

on my terms.

You understand just how much you limit your point of view by getting your information about the outside world "on you terms"?

Your participating in an echo chamber, not getting the "news".

Re:still useless (1)

rhesuspieces00 (804354) | about 4 years ago | (#31626306)

you are assuming that by choosing his news sources, he is choosing to only read things that confirm what he already believes. you have no basis for that conclusion.

i frequently read news from sources like The People's Daily (beijing newspaper) or al jezeera. i think a lot of what is published in those sources is bullshit, and plenty more i just disagree with. I still find them more useful than Fox News. In this case getting news on "my terms" simply means I am not dependent upon the popular mass media of this country for my information.

Re:still useless (1)

dotgain (630123) | about 4 years ago | (#31633412)

Get some pills. You're making a determined effort to find fault with what I'm doing, and bluntly refusing to take my points at face value. Again, get some pills for it and calm the fuck down.

Re:still useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31619530)

Get a Life!

Re:still useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31620650)

Twitter is just rss for people who don't know there's anything other than http. For that matter, they don't know that http even exists. They just type everything in the search bar their browser displays and ignore the address bar. If the address bar isn't hidden, that is, in which case they don't even know it exists.

Boring (0)

sjbe (173966) | about 4 years ago | (#31618658)

Maybe your life is borring? People I follow usually do more interesting things than just eat and run errands.

I very much doubt that...

Re:still useless (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 years ago | (#31619158)

People I follow usually do more interesting things than just eat and run errands.

Yes, they stop every 10 minutes and tell everyone what they're doing and what they think. "Me! Me! Me!" The perfect medium for the first decade of the 21st century. Be so self-absorbed that you believe your every thought and activity is worthy of the interest of everyone who knows you. It's a recipe for the opposite of enlightenment.

Seriously, if you're taking the time to tweet, you're life is not that interesting. Better would be the inverse of Twitter, where everyone takes an active interest in those around them, and instead of publishing a series of short statements about yourself, make a series of observations about those around you and then keep them to yourself. Don't project, reflect.

As a technology, Twitter is really pretty interesting. The people who have made it a centerpiece for their existence are much less so.

Re:still useless (1, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 4 years ago | (#31618404)

but to be honest, I can't see why anyone who doesn't already know would care, and if they did I think I'd be a bit creeped out by it.

@MisephWatch: #Miseph /.'d again; still clueless. Handing him off - who's got him next? Waiting for fave color & crew or v-neck preference

Re:still useless (2, Funny)

eln (21727) | about 4 years ago | (#31618420)

From what I hear, you can post tweets as the President of the United States now. So, maybe posting about your latest bowel movement bores you, but posing as Barack Obama and announcing you just nuked Nunavut seems pretty exciting to me!

Re:still useless (3, Interesting)

game kid (805301) | about 4 years ago | (#31619422)

The (US) Americans would catch on to your twisted deed when they think, "What's a Nunavut? --waaait a minute, he's making up names for countries now! This can't be Obama!"

Sure bet that no one in middle school knows what a Nunavut is, and by Foxworthy's Law [wikipedia.org] there must be a negative number of US adults who do. I'm not sure how these antiadults would manifest, but the ongoing census will probably figure it out. Maybe their annihilative contact with actual adults is the real cause of "suicide bombings". I dunno.

Re:still useless (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31618536)

Twitter has proven to be a quite useful tool for citizens to report that which the official media refuses (or is forced) to censor.

Point in case, the ongoing war on drugs in Mexico.

Entire cities are succumbing to the control of drug lords and their armed gangs, threatening the local media and governments to not report rampaging violent shootouts and gang wars. Twitter has been tremendously useful to warn the rest of the world about what is really going on in those places. Things that the Federal Government doesn't want the rest of the population to see because it puts this painful War and the Army (which has been deployed to openly fight the cartels ON THE STREETS) in a bad light, especially when said Army has been trying to hide its blunders (read: civilians killed in crossfire, mistaken for cartel members).

Re:still useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31618756)

The rest of the world has already heard about this - didn't you see all those gangster movies about Prohibition?

Oh wait, you meant the *modern* War On Some Drugs. Yeah, people have heard about that stuff too - it's just that smoking a joint makes baby Jeebus cry, and so thousands of Mexican civilians just gotta die.

Re:still useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31620922)

Twitter has proven to be a quite useful tool for citizens to report that which the official media refuses (or is forced) to censor.

Point in case, the ongoing war on drugs in Mexico.

Entire cities are succumbing to the control of drug lords and their armed gangs, threatening the local media and governments to not report rampaging violent shootouts and gang wars. Twitter has been tremendously useful to warn the rest of the world about what is really going on in those places. Things that the Federal Government doesn't want the rest of the population to see because it puts this painful War and the Army (which has been deployed to openly fight the cartels ON THE STREETS) in a bad light, especially when said Army has been trying to hide its blunders (read: civilians killed in crossfire, mistaken for cartel members).

I want to follow some of these Tweeters.

Can you give me some usernames to follow?

Thanks

Re:still useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622268)

Funny, I heard about the problems in Mexico on PBS a year ago last Christmas (not to the day, but a couple after). I remember so well because I was supposed to fly back for my friend's birthday Dec. 28th, we were going to drive through Tijuana, and much of the coverage was about the area and included things like a dead body hanging from a bridge.

But I guess PBS doesn't count, and a year ago isn't nearly as early as Twitter dealt with it.

Re:still useless (4, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 4 years ago | (#31618570)

Huh, that's weird... I still don't have any use for twitter whatsoever.

I mean, I guess I could update the entire world every time I eat something or run an errand... but to be honest, I can't see why anyone who doesn't already know would care, and if they did I think I'd be a bit creeped out by it.

Guess I'm just crazy.

I dunno, this could be useful. Introducing TwitterShare, like RapidShare, but uses Twitter for back end storage! 525 bytes ought to be enough to store a sector of data plus some metadata so you can find the other sectors of data and reconsititute the original file. And then, TwitterDrive, a hard drive in the cloud(tm)!

It's not like there's much useful stuff posted anyways, so people posting their movies and other stuff would up the usefulness. And get the MPAA/RIAA to shut down twitter. That might be fun to watch.

Hell, Wikileaks could use it spread files easily - hard to block a big site like twitter.

Very interesting indeed.

Re:still useless (1)

EdZ (755139) | about 4 years ago | (#31618870)

Unfortunately, with typical 512kb torrent packets requiring over a thousand tweets each, BoT (Bittorrent over Tweet) is probably infeasible. Which means somebody will implement in the next week.

Re:still useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31620706)

A friend of mine already did something similar [dc401.org] to this over Wikimedia. Needless to say, the reaction on the receiving end was poor.

Re:still useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31646118)

hard to block a big site like twitter.

Ever been to China?

Re:still useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31618806)

You're the new generation of "I don't even own a television."

DON'T BE THAT GUY.

Yeah we know, you're too cool for TV and Twitter, and quite honestly we don't care.

Re:still useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31618934)

I have succumbed to buying myself a new HDTV. But I use it as a monitor!

I have deleted my Facebook account.

Fortunately I've never been moronic enough to create a Twitter account.

I'm that guy! And I'm a much better person for it.

Re:still useless (1)

Miseph (979059) | about 4 years ago | (#31621982)

Actually, I'm the current generation of "I don't even own a television."

That doesn't bother me much either, although I am considering a larger monitor so that I can watch movies from the sofa (which I currently use for just sitting and chatting with people... like, face to face, or reading books). You'll have to try again.

As for being too cool, quite the opposite. I am extremely uncool, but I choose not to broadcast my uncool life to the entire planet. Yeah, sure I could follow interesting people or events on Twitter, but for every one of those there are about 100,000 idiots droning on about how they just bought a t-shirt or watched a cat jump play with a leaf as though there is a single person in the world (including them, really) who gives a shit. That's some truly atrocious signal to noise, and I just don't care enough to trudge through in some idiotic attempt to stay "current" by using technologies I don't care about just for the sake of using them.

So, yes, I WILL be that guy, because that guy is often the only person with any fucking sense of self, or at least the only one with enough of a spine not to even pretend he buys into other peoples' bullshit just to look cool. You should join the party, the perspective is pretty rad.

Re:still useless (2, Interesting)

Jazz-Masta (240659) | about 4 years ago | (#31619042)

I mean, I guess I could update the entire world every time I eat something or run an errand... but to be honest, I can't see why anyone who doesn't already know would care

This morning I woke up at 5:45, had a shower and got ready for the day. I took the dog out, ate breakfast - just a peanut Nature Valley bar - nothing interesting this morning. I went off to work...at lunch I went to Subway and got a 6" Turkey with everything but hot peppers. No salt and pepper today - not for me! Ranch sauce! Now it is nearing 5:00 PM and I'm looking forward to a salad and possibly some chicken for supper. Not sure what I'll do this evening, but I'll post back tonight and let you know. Maybe watch some CSI - is it new this evening?

Check back tomorrow - will I go to Extreme Pita, Quiznos or Subway for lunch? WHO KNOWS!! That's the fun part!

Re:still useless (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31619138)

The sad part is, I read it.

Re:still useless (0)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 4 years ago | (#31620448)

Huh, that's weird... I still don't have any use for twitter whatsoever.

Huh, that's weird. The world doesn't revolve around you and your likes and dislikes. (Or your faulty notions of how Twitter is used.)

Re:still useless (1)

Miseph (979059) | about 4 years ago | (#31631692)

That is precisely what every Twitter feed I've actually seen is. I am well aware that there are other, arguably valuable Twitter feeds, but 99.9% of them are people broadcasting pointless drivel about their daily lives, and the other .1% I already have access to through about half a dozen other outlets that could only possibly be slower by 5, 10 minutes tops. I'm willing to find out 5 minutes after everyone* else for the privilege of not having to touch that vat of stupid.

*everyone who actually follows precisely the right feed, checks their phone every second for updates, and isn't too busy wading through their old roommate eating sushi 20 miles away... so pretty much nobody who actually uses Twitter.

Re:still useless (1)

svunt (916464) | about 4 years ago | (#31620970)

It's not about whether you're interesting, it's about whether you can get regular updates from people/services that are interesting.

Re:still useless (1)

nazsco (695026) | about 4 years ago | (#31621906)

i agree with you. and why exactly are we posting here?

it's not like we came to /. for the news.

Re:still useless (0)

rhesuspieces00 (804354) | about 4 years ago | (#31626094)

Its revealing of how far slashdot has fallen that we're 4 years in and still trying to figure out whether or not twitter might be useful. If you don't like using twitter, don't. But here are some things I like about it.

* I frequently discover that a friend is doing something (e.g. getting a beer) nearby, and I join them, when otherwise I wouldn't have known.

* I get news much sooner that I would otherwise.

* I don't have to have a facebook account.

* I find other people with similar interests to mine because they follow me on twitter.

* Some of my friends are hilarious. I love hearing their running commentary on their experiences.

* If I'm in a part of town I'm not familiar with, or another city, and want food recommendations, i tweet and usually get a few good suggestions within minutes. There are probably other good opportunities for crowd-sourcing decisions I'm not thinking of.

* I can quickly plan events by suggesting a time and place on twitter, and dont have to send emails or make phone calls.

* When I am at conferences and events, it is invaluable for meeting up with people, or finding out last minute about something awesome I want to be part of.

I could probably go on.

Re:still useless (1)

cdrom600 (981598) | about 4 years ago | (#31637294)

Once you have a network of contacts on Twitter, it can actually be useful (and fun). My "Twitter-isn't-actually-useless" example is that I found my current job through my Twitter network.

So this is like .. a gzip & mimencode contest? (5, Funny)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 4 years ago | (#31618252)

Yay. I'll be sure to watch it carefully.

 

Re:So this is like .. a gzip & mimencode conte (1)

SomeJoel (1061138) | about 4 years ago | (#31618380)

I think they want you to develop a competing algorithm. Reading the rules, it's "arbitrary binary data" they want to send. Interestingly, a zipped file is one form of "arbitrary binary data", so maybe they'll use that as a test case. If so, your algorithm better be 100% lossless.

Re:So this is like .. a gzip & mimencode conte (1)

m2shariy (1194621) | about 4 years ago | (#31618490)

I remember a DOS times joke of creating an archive which would expand into a humongous file full of zeroes, 100% lossless btw :) What do I win?

Re:So this is like .. a gzip & mimencode conte (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 4 years ago | (#31618866)

Right now, they aren't compressing at all, apparently. 140 characters * 31 bits per character is 4,340 bits, so if they are only getting 4200 bits, they're doing slightly worse than completely uncompressed data here. I'm guessing they have a signature on the front end that loses a few bits.

The question is whether they are using random data or data from real-world sources. If the latter, you might be able to construct a compressor that picks the best of a few hundred compression schemes, then pick the one that got the most data in within 139 characters, and use the 140th 31 bits to encode which scheme you used. If you get lucky and the data happens to be one of the types you're expecting (e.g. uncompressed image data), then you could easily get substantial lossless compression (2:1 should be a piece of cake).

On the other hand, if the source data is truly random (or nearly so, e.g. bytes from the middle of a bzip2 file), then the winner will be equally random, so there's no point in wasting your time being inventive. Instead, just rig the competition by creating a billion Twitter accounts and using the username as additional data bytes.

And, of course, if the person doing the compression can pick the source data, then I can tweet the contents of the Library of Congress with one URL....

Re:So this is like .. a gzip & mimencode conte (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31624102)

well, you write compressor and decompressor so you actually can pass around a url to some data and fetch that.

How about encoded in English? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31618472)

666 exabytes of "6"

Re:So this is like .. a gzip & mimencode conte (1)

Co0Ps (1539395) | about 4 years ago | (#31620502)

Nope, compression is not part of the contest as the rules state "arbitary binary data" which could be ANY data. Therefore a compression algoritm cannot be used. A compression function basically maps input that are more likely to smaller output at the expense of mapping input that are less likely to larger output. So if your function performs worse than 100% for SOME arbitary binary data, that data breaks the size limit. So the contest is really lame and not related to information technology at all. It's all about finding additional windows to throw data trough. Some "cool suggestions" so far is using your friends list, or creating lots of accounts to transmit data through your username....

Pi - I win (0)

seifried (12921) | about 4 years ago | (#31618256)

first 99999999999999999999 999999999999999999999999999999999999 99999999999999999999999999999999 9999999999999999999 99999999999999 digits of pi

spaces added to evade character filter

Or take a sha256sum and a md5sum or something and make the remote end brute force it (assuming the remote end has a nice quantum computer or something)

Re:Pi - I win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31618352)

Well, to be honest, a collision for the MD5 hash [wikipedia.org] would probably happen before someone found a valuably long string worth brute forcing to learn (rather than to supply a collision value as an alternate password).

Re:Pi - I win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31618728)

I can beat that.

"Letting ^ be exponentiation, x=100^100, y=x^x, z=y^y, w=z^z, v=w^w, u=v^v, the first u^u^u^u^u^u^u^u^u^u^u^u^u^u^u^u^u digits of pi. Bitch."

I even nonchalantly wasted a character.

Re:Pi - I win (0)

pclminion (145572) | about 4 years ago | (#31618780)

I can beat everyone.

"A number that is one greater than the largest number which is expressible in the English language using no more than 140 letters or numbers."

Did you head explode?

Re:Pi - I win (0)

CecilPL (1258010) | about 4 years ago | (#31618892)

Nuh-uh.

"A number that is two greater than the largest number which is expressible in the English language using no more than 140 letters or numbers."

Is itself one greater than your number. Or is it two greater? Now my head asplode.

Re:Pi - I win (1)

TheGreenNuke (1612943) | about 4 years ago | (#31621050)

Fail.

"A number that is ten greater than the largest number which is expressible in the English language using no more than 140 letters or numbers."

If you're only better by 1, you didn't try hard enough.

Re:Pi - I win (1)

pclminion (145572) | about 4 years ago | (#31628422)

"A number that is ten greater than the largest number which is expressible in the English language using no more than 140 letters or numbers."

Your number seems to be the largest number expressible in the Englihs language using no more than 140 letters or numbers. My number is one more than that. I win.

I'm not sure why I got modded down. I guess somebody doesn't get the paradox.

Longest Tweet (4, Funny)

Shadyman (939863) | about 4 years ago | (#31618346)

Mine's 140 characters! What do I win?

Re:Longest Tweet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31618744)

Free tweets for life, plus a discount coupon.

Re:Longest Tweet (4, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 4 years ago | (#31618874)

That's not what they mean. Check this out:

Tweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!

Amateur.

Re:Longest Tweet (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | about 4 years ago | (#31618972)

After your post I saw "You will be awarded a medal for disregarding safety in saving someone." on the /. footer. Maybe it is your answer?

I sometimes wonder (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about 4 years ago | (#31618474)

about the humongous amounts of information - in bytes - processed every day in tweets. Or email, for that sake. What *happens* to all that information ? All of it together, if backed up, would almost perfectly document our times to posterior generations. Even such contests would, really. Ever thought about that ?

Re:I sometimes wonder (4, Funny)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 4 years ago | (#31618550)

document our times to posterior generations

I don't know about you, but I would prefer to keep my posterior out of this ...

Re:I sometimes wonder (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about 4 years ago | (#31618646)

Amen. Which is why I still, persistently and stubbornly, code in Java. As soon as this kind of contest can be done in Java, I'll move back to Ada. Or so.

Chinese characters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31618560)

they take up multiple bytes per characters per byte and can encode very complex meanings.

Re:Chinese characters (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 4 years ago | (#31618826)

Is PI compex enough? It certainly is (one of) the longest messages I know of

Re:Chinese characters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31619114)

>>> from math import asin
>>> asin(1)*2
3.1415926535897931

What is long or complex about that? pi compresses extremely well!

Since the decompressor is not part of the tweet... (2)

KPexEA (1030982) | about 4 years ago | (#31618686)

Since the decompressor is not part of the tweet data then then this is very simple:

To send: Visit a website post your "message", it get's saved on a server somewhere. The URL is then tweeted to the recipient.

To Receive: Visit the URL and voila there is your message.

No size limits.

Kevin

Re:Since the decompressor is not part of the tweet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31623196)

They want a system that can store all possible n-bit messages for the largest value of n possible. Your system is bounded by the number of possible urls, so it won't allow you so store, say, all possible 10000-bit messages.

Wouldn't the most efficient form of encryption... (1)

d1r3lnd (1743112) | about 4 years ago | (#31618928)

Wouldn't the most efficient form of encryption be some kind of steganography? I mean, maybe you wouldn't want to use wikipedia as a steganotext, but receiving a tweet means having internet access, right? If all you have to do is point to a website already containing the unique information you want to send, the competition becomes pretty meaningless, right?

Re:Wouldn't the most efficient form of encryption. (2, Insightful)

KingKiki217 (979050) | about 4 years ago | (#31619154)

Isn't that like entering a pointer as your submission in the 'Most Information in 32 Bits' contest?

20.08 bits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31619006)

How is it possible that Unicode is 20.08 bits per character? What is that extra .08 bits used for?

Re:20.08 bits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31620254)

It's not the number of bits in each actual character. It's the number of bits of arbitrary data that you can map onto a valid Unicode character.

From TFA, there are 1,112,064 valid Unicode characters. Take the base-2 log of that, and you have the equivalent of 20.08 bits available.

To put it another way, given a string of X Unicode characters, you can encode X * 20.08 bits of arbitrary data without resorting to using invalid characters.

Aaargh... (1)

Knightman (142928) | about 4 years ago | (#31619136)

For some reason I feel like deleting any post containing the letter-combination "tweet".
Oops.. Dang, then I have to delete this post... Aaargh...

How do you get 8% of a bit? (1)

funkboy (71672) | about 4 years ago | (#31623496)

far as I knew, they were 1s & 0s...

Re:How do you get 8% of a bit? (1)

SlothDead (1251206) | about 4 years ago | (#31623892)

Then your knowledge is wrong and you might want to learn more about it.
Hint:
How much bits do you need to store one decimal digit?
Then why do you only need 7 bits (not 2*4) to store a two digit decimal number, hmmm?

Getting useful info out of twitter? (1)

fialar (1545) | about 4 years ago | (#31624118)

Good luck trying that. There's tons of spam bots on it that just clog up searches. Nothing useful turns up anyway. It's totally useless. Where do you people find weather emergency alerts and drug cartel movements and stuff anyway? Did you have to sift through "get #viagara #boner http://is.gd/"?

Twitter & Unicode (2, Interesting)

david.given (6740) | about 4 years ago | (#31624148)

Actually, Twitter is not Unicode-safe.

What happens is you can post a Tweet with astral-plane glyphs and it all appears to work fine, but mysteriously --- a week or so later --- the astral-plane glyphs just vanish. (I don't know if this happens to basic-plane glyphs; I haven't tested it.) I suspect what's happening is that they have different short-term and long-term storage systems, and the long-term systems don't handle Unicode properly.

For example, see this message [twitter.com] . That one lasted for about two weeks before the last word vanished. I should probably go hunting for a bug report form...

Re:Twitter & Unicode (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | about 4 years ago | (#31627016)

This makes it perfect for communicating spy messages. This is awesome espionage communication, it self destructs and everything!

Re:Twitter & Unicode (1)

yuhong (1378501) | about 4 years ago | (#31627864)

I should probably go hunting for a bug report form...

Or how about trying to find one of the guys on the Twitter team on Twitter and ask them about it.

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