Category Archives: General

First GitHub Repository

I’ve been hacking code for many years now but have never considered myself to be a real software developer, despite having built apps in a variety of languages. Over the last couple of years I’ve enjoyed hacking away at Python and have created many websites, apps, and scripts but never really published them.

I just published my first GitHub repository with a Python script to retrieve the latest spot price from the Flick website for our account. Flick have been promising to release an API for years but have yet to deliver anything, so my script uses Requests and BeautifulSoup to scrape the spot price from the Flick dashboard.

When first run, the script prompts for your credentials and saves them to a file on your disk so that the script can be run without interaction in the future. And when you first successfully authenticate it will save your cookies to a file to avoid having to reauthenticate each time it runs. The spot price on the Flick website is updated every half hour, so the script will save the current spot price to disk as well as the end date time which indicates when the next website update will be. Then the script can be run as often as you like but it will only ever go to the website once while that price is valid.

I created the script so that I could retrieve the spot price and integrate it into my HomeAssistant installation. I plan to do further automation based on the current spot price but for now I’m just sending myself a Telegram notification when the price changes.

 

A short history of airport security

A short history of airport security: We screen for guns and bombs, so the terrorists use box cutters. We confiscate box cutters and corkscrews, so they put explosives in their sneakers. We screen footwear, so they try to use liquids. We confiscate liquids, so they put PETN bombs in their underwear. We roll out full-body scanners, even though they wouldn’t have caught the Underwear Bomber, so they put a bomb in a printer cartridge. We ban printer cartridges over 16 ounces — the level of magical thinking here is amazing — and they’re going to do something else.

Bruce Schneir via A Waste of Money and Time – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com

Dogfooding

I should have done this a while ago, but I’ve moved my blog over to Blogtown NZ, which is the free, blogging site that I run. It didn’t really make sense that I was self-hosting my own blog while encouraging others to host their blogs with us on Blogtown.

I’m still using my own domain name through the use of the domain mapping feature, which is one of the benefits of becoming a Blogtown NZ supporter, so all previous links should still work. The WordPress export and import feature made it pretty easy to migrate my old posts and comments into the new blog.

Apple Tablet Not Using Intel

If this is to believed, that’s one of my predictions come true (though not a difficult one)

With production time of its Tablet approaching, Apple has been making its final decisions on which components will go into the device, which is due out in March. Unfortunately for Intel, it didn’t make the cut, says Northeast Securities analyst Ashok Kumar, based on conversations with Apple’s design manufacturing partners.

There has been speculation that Intel’s new generation of Atom chips was in the running for the slot, but Apple ultimately chose a processor developed by P A Semi, a chip shop Apple acquired two years ago, according to another analyst familiar with the so-called build plan.

via Exclusive: Apple Tablet Has No Intel Inside | Technology | Financial Articles & Investing News | TheStreet.com.

Facebook’s iPhone App Syncs Contacts

The push notifications aren’t really a big deal for me, as I get email alerts for the notifications which I want from Facebook. But the contact-syncing feature is extremely useful, and if you sync your iPhone contacts to another source (in my case Google Apps) you’ll have consistent information there too.

And Push Notifications aren’t the only new feature of 3.1. There is also a new way to sync your Facebook friends with your iPhone’s address book. This includes replacing contact photos. Pretty nifty.

via Facebook’s iPhone App Finally Gets Push Notifications, Contact Syncing .