A few months back I created a service that would allow people to get tweets or other content from the Twitter API in RSS or XML format. It ended up growing a moderate amount and amassed over 2,500 users. Well, some frustrating and disappointing news came through yesterday; the Twitter API team has suspended the Tweet-2-RSS application for violation of the Terms of Service. They did so without any warning and it was certainly a surprise to me. Here is the relevant quote from their API Terms (Section I.4):
Two words: WolframAlpha. Or is that one word? I don't know, but what I do know is that it is a lifesaver for any engineering student these days. Unfortunately for me, it only really existed during my senior year of college, which happened to be the year I got the highest GPA. Coincidence? Probably.
Until now, I had really only used WolframAlpha for its scientific and mathematical solving abilities. But it can do so much more! Featured in this post will be a snippet of its financial knowledge. Head on over and try searching for your favorite stock symbol. You will notice a plethora of information from realtime trade data to price projections. You will also notice that they provide a breakdown of analyst opinions on the stock from buy to sell. Wouldn't it be cool if we could see this breakdown for all stocks in the market and how they compare to one another? I'm glad you asked.
Remember that math game 24 from middle school? It's the one where you are given 4 numbers and you have to do basic math operations (+,-,*,/) to make the 4 numbers equal 24. For example, if I had the numbers 2,3,4,5 I could get to 24 by doing 2*(5+4+3) or maybe by doing 4*(5+3-2). You get the idea.
So the game itself is pretty simple and for some reason I find myself playing it with the numbers on a clock or credit card or something else when I am bored. And I was finding that it was normally pretty easy to find a solution given any set of numbers. That made me start to ask a couple of questions.
Ingredients you will need:
So, you just wrote some cool new software or made a fancy new gizmo. You want to publicize it but come on, you don't know marketing, you're an engineer! Here is a simple and annoying recipe to get your product out there.
Short answer: you can't. Well, I should say you couldn't!
I recently discovered that Twitter was no longer offering XML as a response format for their API calls. No big deal, XML is clunky, verbose, and I hate every XML library that was ever written. I was ready to move on until a few days later I realized that IFTTT had also pulled Twitter as an input source for recipes. However, RSS was still there; this made the lack of an XML/RSS option from the Twitter folks slightly annoying now.
So I decided I would make one. Normally I would save an idea like this for a hackathon or something but in this case I had a couple recipes I wanted to make ASAP so I figured let's give it a shot.
I attended San Francisco API Hack Day last weekend and had an awesome time. There were some really cool ideas thrown around and I didn't get mugged taking the bus home at 10 PM so it was a great day.
I ended up teaming up with Crystal Rose (@crystalrose) and we made an email hack that I think is pretty cool, so I thought I'd share the idea here. We called it "Hack my Email" (which we named with about 15 minutes to go in the competition) and the idea is to open source email filtering and prioritization before it gets to your inbox. Here we are presenting:
For the last two months all we've been hearing is Todd McShay's and Mel Kiper Jr.'s draft projections. It's like that every year around this time, but I realized we never hear the results. All the debates and opinions thrown around, and then we completely forget about them. Not anymore, here are the results of the 1st round of the 2013 NFL Draft, along with final scores for each guy.
Seeing as hot dogs are my favorite food, I often like to indulge with some french fries on the side. However, also seeing as how I'm cheap, I buy the frozen ones and reseal them and put them back in the freezer when I'm done. Anyone else who has done this knows that every time you go to make fries you get some frozen mess that looks something like this:
Now what am I supposed to do with that? For decades I had struggled with this and ended up with soggy fries, until one day I thought of it. Here are the steps that will save your life one day (don't ask me how).
I love sports. I watch a lot of sports. But there is no way I'm going to sit here and tell you I've even seen half of these teams in the NCAA tournament play, and yet I will fill out a bracket and swear up and down that I have it right. I am probably describing a lot of bracket-filler-outers here, and I am proposing a new way to fill one out to maximize your chances of winning your office pool. I'm not picking by seed, not picking by mascot color, not even picking against the schools that those annoying kids in high school went to. We're talking math here folks.
Well, it's up! The new site I've been working on for the last couple weeks in my spare time (Sinful Lyrics) is officially live. It basically follows a blog format with each post featuring a lyric from a popular song with some seriously bad lyrics. The site has "7 Deadly Sins of Lyrics" and each song violates one or more of the sins.
The most interesting part of the project for me was getting exposure to the Genesis Framework for WordPress. I had researched both Genesis and Thesis (these seem to be the two front-runners in the industry) and ultimately settled on Genesis. I will probably post more details and specific experiences with the framework down the road but I have to say my overall experience was a positive one.