¤ is evil !

I ran into a funny problem last week with a url from the api of a payment gateway that contained …&currencyCode=…..

I adopted an orphaned codebase and am reprogramming it as WordPress plugin and it contains some really weird bugs. The two previous coders that worked on the codebase opted for an iframe solution through an intermediate page.

Problem is SimpleXml recognizing &curren and converting to ¤ (unicode U+000A4) with ¤cycode= as result, if you tried to relocate the page to that url the gateway rejects the url.

str_replace() does not recognize ¤, the solution I found is first running htmlentities() that replaces ¤ with &curren but also converts & to & which the gateway also rejects, so after using htmlentities() you use str_replace() to replace & with &, and then it works fine.

I am open to suggestions on that one, for now, conclusion is that SimpleXML does not handle &curren in a url correctly, you might run into the same problem with &current_user,  &current_time, et cetera.

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3D Playmobil

What use is a 3D Printer other than for making your own Playmobil figures ?

I was reading Web 2.0 : A Strategy Guide by Amy Shuen and pondered, what is next ? With things like 3D Printers, it would kinda rock if Playmobil licensed printing and put a Design portal online where you can design your own family as Playmobil figures, walk them around a bit in Playmobil World (like these mmorpg virtual worlds) and then put it on a USB stick for 20 cents per design and go to the local 3D Printing shop, one print per design. That would be a cool gift for any birth day, your own custom spec Playmobil with a Storybook or something.

And how would you add copyright protection to a Playmobil figure ? Add some weird chemical to the plastic that makes them light up in the dark ? That would be cool, by the way, Glow In The Dark Playmobil, hordes of little skeletons in the closet.

That is going to be interesting, however, after the movies and music industry had their period of strife about copy-rights, now Playmobil get to face the challenges of new emerging printing technologies. It is to my opinion not so much about what we as average joes can do with a 3D printer, it is about how is it going to change the business model of companies like Mattel, Lego and Playmobil.

For movie theatres, imagine you show some new animation movie and can sell the figures at the counter after the show, that would rock. A local 3D printing shop would rock. If they had any cool designs, of course, and an online design portal or something.

I´ve been drinking too much coffee again.

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sorry, I forgot my wallet

I had a good laugh at the railway station last week, I was standing there and waiting, some man walks up and says “can you spare me a cigarette“, so I go “sure”, he says “can you spare me a few for the day“, I go, “sure” and give him a few. He goes “can you spare me some money, I need 10 bucks for the shelter tonight“, I go “sure”, so I reach in my pocket and give him all the change I had left, about a buck. He counts it, looks at me, and says “Don’t you have a wallet ?

That is when I started laughing.

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