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We have a new version of UnicodeChecker out. Changes include the upgrade of its International Domain Name feature (IDNA) to the new RFC 3490, making it probably one of the first applications to support this. The ability to encode URLs using HTML '%' escapes has been added. This assumes you want your characters UTF-8 encoded, though (I can elaborate why this can be a problem in case anyone cares).
Also, the number of 'Services' provided by UnicodeChecker has been increased once more to include the IDNA conversions and URL encoding and their 'inverses'. These conversions have also been added to UnicodeChecker's AppleScript repertoire.
The screenshots  show how the IDNA conversion service used in Safari's URL entry field. This way you can have IDNA domain names today – not that we know of any, but please drop a line or post a comment below if you run across one some day.
Currently UnicodeChecker's description on VersionTracker only reads 'Tool for exploring the Unicode charset'. At this stage it seems to me that we could be a bit more bold and mention its use to HTML authors. It gives you all the conversion you need – all I ever needed, that is – for getting your characters and URLs right in HTML. With its AppleScript support it can also neatly be used to automatically generate web pages. I have actually done the latter – an automatically generated address list for my class from school, taking the addresses from a group in Address Book, rearranging and converting things as adequate and spitting out web pages at the other end .
Did anyone else notice that this conversion to IDNA is a very strange thing? I expected it to be 'almost-bijective', i.e., excluding strings containing the 'xn--' prefix you should be able to undo the conversion. But that's not the case. 'ß' will simply be converted to 'ss' without a prefix and hence can't be converted back. Hm, strange.
 The nice contextual Services menu is courtesy of Nicholas Riley's ICeCoffEE. If only the services menu wouldn't list the inactive items or submenus only containing inactive items. I could also try and simply throw away some of those applications I never use which populate the Service menu anyway... Did you know that making a screenshot with more than one screen gives you a multi-page PDF file? I didn't.
 If only AppleScript could sort things. Grrr.
Received data seems to be invalid. The wanted file does probably not exist or the guys at last.fm changed something.