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International Longest Tweet Contest Seeks Entries 99

Posted by timothy
from the shannon-sighs dept.
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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International Longest Tweet Contest Seeks Entries

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  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Thursday March 25, 2010 @05:43PM (#31618150)

    140 characters should be enough for anybody!

  • still useless (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Miseph (979059) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @05:48PM (#31618226) Journal

    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 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @05:56PM (#31618342) Journal

      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 (Score:4, Insightful)

        by snowraver1 (1052510) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @07:46PM (#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 (Score:4, Informative)

        by sootman (158191) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @08:00PM (#31619792) Homepage Journal

        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.

        • 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: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

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

      • Re:still useless (Score:5, Informative)

        by dotgain (630123) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @06:08PM (#31618502) Homepage Journal
        ^ 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by PopeRatzo (965947) *

          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 inform

          • by AndrewBC (1675992)
            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...
          • by dotgain (630123)

            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 tw

            • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

              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".

              • 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 o

              • by dotgain (630123)
                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.
      • by sjbe (173966)

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

        I very much doubt that...

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        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 w

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      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: (Score:3, Funny)

      by eln (21727)
      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 (Score:4, Interesting)

        by game kid (805301) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @07:31PM (#31619422) Homepage

        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 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2010 @06:11PM (#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 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wor f . n et> on Thursday March 25, 2010 @06:14PM (#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.

      • by EdZ (755139)
        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.
      • Seriously, this is interesting. You guys should make an April 1 RFC. Someone is bound to implement this, like what happened to IP over Avian Carriers.
    • Twitter is really just IRC, but instead of just logging channels you can also log users.

      • by game kid (805301)
        I've always thought of Twitter as a retarded Blogger on speed. (Some former Blogger employees helped make it.)
    • your jewish mother?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jazz-Masta (240659)

      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. Mayb

    • 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.)

      • by Miseph (979059)

        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 prec

    • by svunt (916464)
      It's not about whether you're interesting, it's about whether you can get regular updates from people/services that are interesting.
    • by nazsco (695026)

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

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

    • 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

    • by cdrom600 (981598)

      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.

  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @05:50PM (#31618252)

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

     

    • by SomeJoel (1061138)
      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.
      • by m2shariy (1194621)
        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?
      • by dgatwood (11270)

        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

    • by ArsonSmith (13997)

      WTF u twt 2 lng!!

      was my first thought of twitter compression.

    • by Co0Ps (1539395)
      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
  • 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)

  • perl -le'{print;redo}'
  • by Shadyman (939863) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @05:56PM (#31618346) Homepage
    Mine's 140 characters! What do I win?
  • by floppyraid (1756326) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @06:01PM (#31618408)
    have been doing it for alot longer than us. Often around here outside it sounds like a DDoS.

    http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc1149.txt [rfc-editor.org]

    http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc2549.html [faqs.org]

    ...but did you know it has actually been implemented?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8248056.stm [bbc.co.uk]
  • 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 ?
  • 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
  • Back in my day it was about the longest penis. Nowdays its about the longest tweet. 'Nuff said.
  • For some reason I feel like deleting any post containing the letter-combination "tweet".
    Oops.. Dang, then I have to delete this post... Aaargh...

  • by baegucb (18706)

    No one has yet found a joke using TL;DR ?

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

    • 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?

  • 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 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by david.given (6740) <dg AT cowlark DOT com> on Friday March 26, 2010 @07:43AM (#31624148) Homepage Journal

    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...

    • This makes it perfect for communicating spy messages. This is awesome espionage communication, it self destructs and everything!
    • by yuhong (1378501)

      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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