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Category: Humor

Fling a random insult at Trump after every tweet

By , 02/28/2017 5:24 PM

Ok time to get political. I hate many things that Trump tweets these days and would love to reply to each tweet personally, but have neither time not desire to read his delusions. Fortunately in these modern times robots take many of our jobs. And this looked like a perfect job for a bot. Similarly to the bot described in the previous post it will be IFTTT + Scriptr combo. But this time in reverse, here’s intended flow:

  1. Twitter service at IFTTT detects when @realDonaldTrump tweets
  2. It triggers Maker service that makes HTTP request to Scriptr code
  3. Scriptr code generates random insult and posts a reply to Trump’s tweet

Here’s what IFTTT applet looks like: Continue reading 'Fling a random insult at Trump after every tweet'»

Tweet images with Scriptr and IFTTT

By , 02/28/2017 4:34 PM

Sev Trek

Looks like everybody is doing Twitter bots these days so I decided to try my hand on one as well. And it had to be something lighthearted – to let people’s mind off things for a while. Way back in early 2000s there was a funny parody comic of Star Trek called Sev Trek. Original site is gone now, but archive of images was saved at http://sevspace.com/stupidarchive/sevtrek.asp.htm. Images are numbered sequentially – ideal for automatic processing. My bot would tweet random images every couple hours.

To host bot’s script I decided to go with Scriptr which offers powerful JavaScript backend and multiple expansion modules. And IFTTT has a cool Twitter service, one that can tweet image from an URL. So the idea was:

  1. Code hosted at Scriptr generates URL pointing to an image at sevspace.com
  2. Code then call Maker service of IFTTT – custom service capable of accepting HTTP requests
  3. Maker service triggers Twitter service and passes URL of image it got from Scriptr code
  4. IFTTT Twitter service tweets the image

Continue reading 'Tweet images with Scriptr and IFTTT'»

Trump wants to bring Pebble home

By , 04/01/2016 12:01 AM

Trump on PebbleDonald Trump’s plan to “Make America great again!” would have you spending a whole lot more dough on your next Pebble smartwatch.

Not surprisingly, that would be the logical consequence of the Republican presidential front-runner’s latest ambitious promise: Getting Pebble to start manufacturing their products in the US instead of China.

“We’re going to get Pebble to build their damn watches in this country instead of in other countries” Trump said in a speech at a rally in Supai, Arizona.

The Donald’s claims are made to appeal to a voters having difficulties finding jobs in the US. Pebble, the world’s most innovative company with cult of followers, designs its best-selling Pebble Time, Pebble Time Steel and Pebble Time Round in the US but relies on partners in China and Chinese factory workers to assemble all of them. But what would be the price to build those “damn watches” in the US? Even a rough estimate of the basic costs shows it’s an unrealistic option, leading to a Pebble smartwatch with a potentially jaw-dropping price tag.

To keep things easy, let’s just observe salaries of workers occupied with assembling a Pebble. A labourer at Chinese manufacturing factory gets paid roughly $400 a month before overtime, according to the New York Post.

Now assume Pebble goes the cheaper route and utilizes a factory in Wyoming or Georgia, which happen to have the country’s lowest minimum wage at $5.75 an hour. Working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, a US worker will earn $824 a month, or more than double the Chinese labourer. And if Pebble were to utilize someone in its home state of California, where the minimum wage is $9 an hour, the monthly pay is $1,400, or more than triple of the chineese.

And that’s ssuming you have number of workers with enough technological skills to do the job (and you don’t) and also assuming those workers will work for minimum wage (they will not). After awhile, things don’t add up.

While there are a number of other factors that go into a Pebble, including the components, shipping, marketing and research and development, doubling the labor costs could significantly hike up the price of a Pebble. Current price of Pebble Time is $150 — will you pay for the same smartwatch $300? $400? Or more?

“Twice the price is a very modet estimate” says Clara Mileshti, an analyst at Dumas CostEff, about the price hike of a Pebble if it were manufactured in the US.

In another speech, Trump proposed a 35 percent tax on products built outside of the US. So at a minimum, that would mean your next Pebble Time’s price could start at over $200.

Pebble declined to comment on Trump’s comments and didn’t want to get into the potential math of bringing watch manufacturing back the US.

Trump’s comments ignore the fact that Pebble does buy some of its components from US companies, including LEG’s Cortex-MI5 processors. The company said earlier that it believes it affects jobs creation in the US throug encouraging developers to learn and and create software for their appstore ecosystem. And by the way, creating and submitting an app to Pebble appstore is free for developers.

Pebble couldn’t afford to build a watch in the US at a reasonable price. Making a more costly, “Made in the USA” product is not an option, especially as consumers start to wise up about how much they’re spending on their smartwatches. Today Pebble is the leader in low-cost efficient watches. But alternatives are cropping up.

So strike it up as another crazy, wild claim by Trump. Or is it?

Original Pebbles are getting TimeLine! (with special offers)

By , 04/01/2015 12:01 AM

Original Pebble Steel with TimeLine Pebble Corporation is very well know for its visionary ideas. Ideas that kept its incredible smartwatches Pebble and Pebble Steel relevant on the market years after their release. They key to such longevity is regular software updates that bring new features to existing hardware. Multilanguage support, actionable notifications and many other fetures delighted Pebble users to no end.

This worked amazingly well so far. But now Pebble is finally on the verge of releasing new hardware as well. Color Pebble Time is scheduled (as of this writing) to be released in May and a shinier version – Pebble Time Steel is to be shipped in July. Both are getting brand new OS with time-oriented Timeline interface that will streamline the way you interact with the watch.

But what about users of existing Pebbles? Are they doomed to use obsolete devices? Continue reading 'Original Pebbles are getting TimeLine! (with special offers)'»

Pebble Steel: DIY (some assembly required)

By , 04/01/2014 8:38 AM

Pebble Steel: DIY

Pebble Steel is a new flagship smartwatch of a widely successful kickstarter Pebble. It’s the latest craze and everybody wants one. Unfortunately the demand far outweighs the supply – it’s a well known problem. Pebble can’t manufacture enough new Steels in time, there’re many backorders, missed deadlines, a lot of frustrated, complaining customers.

But Pebble is not called genius for nothing. They found a brilliant solution, one they borrowed directly from the Apple, when the company was at its very humble beginning and was struggling as well. If you recall – original Apple 1 computer was sold as an electronic kit, that users had to put together themselves. This approach solved many problems for Apple back then and it will be very helpful for Pebble today.

Enter “Pebble Steel: Do it yourself” kit. The new Steel will ship as a collection of parts with detailed instructions on how to put them together. Since Pebble Steel doesn’t have to come fully assembled – that will seriously cut down manufacturing time and the product will ship to users much sooner. Cost saved on assembly labor will also be passed directly to customers – expect to see cheaper Steels soon. And since majority of Pebble users are computer/electronics geeks anyway, crowd that loves tinkering with their gadgets – assembling your very own Pebble Steel will come as an interesting and a welcome challenge and will make a proud owner even more proud.

Free Gigabit Internet over power lines!

By , 04/01/2013 12:01 AM

Internet over power lines

Everybody heard the story of how town of Santa Clara, CA is now offering all of its resident free Wi-Fi. It’s a really good news and hopefully a beginning of a trend. But a small borough in Northern New Jersey went even further. Continue reading 'Free Gigabit Internet over power lines!'»

GW BASIC in your browser!

By , 05/01/2012 1:33 PM

Classic comes alive

Now this just bring a nostalgic tear to your eye. Cory Smith of AddressOf implemented Classic DOS GW BASIC entirely in Silverlight. It’s beautiful, give it a go!

iOS is ported to Kindle Fire!

By , 04/01/2012 12:01 AM

Apple iOS running on Amazon Kindle Fire
Those coding wizards from XDJ-Developers have done it again! After years of supplying us with huge amounts of amazing custom ROMs for even huger amount of Android devices they performed yet another miracle which is akin to splitting the atom, since it separates what was formerly considered inseparable: Apple hardware and software.

They ported iOS to Kindle Fire.

Don’t expect it to be the latest version though (iOS 6 as of time of this post) for that you will have to wait couple hours. For now be content with 5.1 – it’s well worth it. iOS 5.1 runs very smoothly on Kindle Fire, in tests pretty much everything lives up to high standards we used to expect from Apple, just about only app that wouldn’t run is Fruit Slice, I can’t imagine why.

Being an early beta build, it still has a few quirks. For example sometimes, if you launch iTunes, you end up in Amazon MP3 Store and on very rare occasions in some place called “Tower Records” (must be phantom growing pains) but XDJ-Developers are hard at work to eradicate those.

So rejoice closet Apple fans! No longer you have to pretend to like cupcakes, donuts, eclairs, froyo, gingerbread, honeycombs, ice cream sandwiches and the rest of those high calory desserts. Time for a healthy diet of fruit!

Visual Basic FTW!

By , 01/23/2012 3:56 PM

I knew modern VB was a powerful language, but had no idea it could do this:

Create GUI to track IP in real-time email… what would they think of next?

Mac. Nobody gives a

By , 12/05/2011 11:48 PM

On the other hand

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