The Squirrels Are Watching

Twitter in Iran

Posted in Fact and Law by andrewfong on June 17, 2009

Currently watching various media personalities pick Jonathan Zittrain’s brain regarding Twitter in Iran. While Twitter has definitely had a powerful impact here, I’m not sure that impact is what people think it is. As I understand it, the main effect of Twitter (and while we’re at it, YouTube, Facebook, blogs, etc. — which I’m going to sum up as TLT — things like Twitter) is to provide semi-real-time communication stream between Iranians and the outside world and between Iranians themselves.

But what exactly does that communication enable?


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UTF8 / Unicode in MySQL

Posted in Code and Tech by andrewfong on June 7, 2009

For some reason, the current version of MySQL defaults to using the latin1 encoding. I needed to get Unicode support with UTF-8 encoding working a little while ago, so I might as well write down what to do. It’s pretty simple.

Go edit your my.cnf file (mine was located in /etc/mysql/my.cnf).

At the end of the [client] section, add this :

default-character-set = utf8

At the end of the [mysqld] section, add this:

character-set-server = utf8

And then restart MySQL — e.g. sudo /etc/init.d/mysql restart

After this, any NEW MySQL tables you create should automatically default to using UTF-8 in queries.

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Three things that bug me about the iPhone

Posted in Code and Tech by andrewfong on June 4, 2009

I lost my iPhone a few days ago. When I was a kid, I often brought a book with me when eating by myself, so I’d have something to do while eating besides … um … eating. The book’s been replaced by my phone though (take that Kindle!), so going to to lunch without it just felt plain weird.

So let me be the first (or second or third or whatever) to extol the awesomeness of the iPhone. I used to have a Windows Mobile Tilt / TyTn2, and the iPhone 3G is hands-down superior. That said, I do have three very large annoyances.


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