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Twilio Blog:
How to Build a Digital Decoder Ring Using PHP, FilePreviews.io and Twilio MMS
October 08, 2014 @ 13:25:30

The Twilio blog has an interesting post that lets you "tap into your inner spy" and shows you how to use their service to build a "digital decoder ring" that decodes text based on a Caesar cipher and revert it back from its encoded state, texting the results back to the user.

If you are like me you've probably always wanted to tap into your inner Sydney Bristow [from Alias] and become a kick-ass CIA spy. Today I'm going to show you how to use PHP, FilePreviews.io and Twilio MMS to come one step closer to that dream. We're going to build an app that lets you snap a picture of a Caesar ciphered text, send it to a phone number and get a response with the decoded text. I

He starts with a list of things you'll need (including accounts on Twilio and FilePreviews.io) and the Twilio PHP SDK. The remainder of the post walks you through the code and pieces you'll need to make it all work:

  • Analyzing Our Image
  • Receiving Images Via MMS
  • Cracking the Code

The end result will send the decoded information back to the caller using the rickyrobinett/CaesarCipher library sent through the Twilio service. You can get the full, working code for the example on Ricky Robinett's GitHub account.

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Link: https://www.twilio.com/blog/2014/10/how-to-build-a-digital-decoder-ring-using-php-filepreviews-io-and-twilio-mms.html

Twilio Blog:
How to Build an MMS Ticketing System Using PHP, Laravel and Twilio
October 03, 2014 @ 12:18:54

On the Twilio blog there's a recent post showing the construction of some fundamental parts of a MMS ticketing system using Laravel and Twilio for the messaging.

Have you ever arrived at a movie, flight or concert and realized you've forgotten your paper ticket? Imagine how much worse it would be if you showed up at Willy Wonka's front door, but forgot your golden ticket! To prevent an epic disaster such as this, we're going to build an app that delivers Willy Wonka's golden ticket directly to your phone using MMS. All the Oompa Loompas have to do is scan it. Not Willy Wonka? Don't worry, this code should be useful for any app or company that distributes tickets. Hopefully computers are more helpful with the golden ticket than last time.

The application makes use of a few libraries outside of the Laravel framework structure to handle the various functional pieces: one for creating QR codes and another for sending the messages via Twilio. They walk through some of the basic setup for the first endpoint and the "Golden Ticket Distribution" page. He then uses the Endroid QR code library to generate a code based on a string and outputting it to the user. Using a few pieces of data from the URL (in $_GET), they define the phone number to send to and the name of the user. Finally they tie it into the Twilio messaging system and send the MMS message containing the resulting QR code.

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Link: https://www.twilio.com/blog/2014/09/how-to-build-an-mms-ticketing-system-using-php-laravel-and-twilio.html

Simon Harris' Blog:
Making Phone Calls and Sending SMS with HTML
June 10, 2010 @ 08:59:06

In a recent post o his blog Simon Harris talks about how you can make phone calls and send SMS messages from your PHP applications (well, sort of). He shows how to trigger phone calls and SMS on certain phones by way of an HTML page.

Okay, so you can't really make phone calls and send SMS messages using only HTML; that would be silly. However, if you are developing web sites and web applications for mobile handsets, you can take advantage of some features in XHTML Mobile Profile which make it easy for a user to call a number without typing that number in. You can also use the same mechanism to trigger - on the user's handset - an SMS or MMS dialog with the intended recipient's number and the message content prepopulated.

He includes three examples if it in action (using PHP to render the page) - creating a link to make a call from the HTML, sending an SMS if the text inside a link and doing the same with a MMS message. He uses the WURFL project to make it all work and code snippets are included.

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Zend Developer Zone:
MMS me the 411 ASAP (via PHP, of Corz)
April 06, 2006 @ 07:33:31

Cell phones have become ubiquitous in our society, making it possible to get information instantly through things like SMS messaging. If you've ever looked at your phone and wondered how you could send the same kinds of things from your scripts, this post on the Zend Developer Zone is a push in the right direction.

SMS messages have become ubiquitous in most of the world. As with any commodity technology, those who make their money off of it are always looking to expand it so that they can charge more. In the SMS world, there is the MMS, Multimedia Messaging Service. Developed by the Open Mobil Alliance MMS is designed to deliver rich content messages over packet data services.

That's all well and good but without the proper tools how are you going to message (spam) the cell-phones of your closest 25,000 friends with the latest release (obeying all relevant copyright laws, of course) from your favorite band? Well fear not, Stefan Hellkvist over at hellkvist.org has rushed to your rescue. The library, MMSlib, is used to encode and decode MMS messages in PHP.

There's no tutorial here, just information about the library and more pointers to the site. The MMSLib code is released under the GPL.

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