Fixing (LinkedIn) interfaces with Chrome plugins

Online services tend to change their functionality or interaction. Sometimes in a good way, other times in a bad way. Most recently LinkedIn made a little change in the way accepting (and replying to) invites works. I personally use LinkedIn as a address book and leave it alone at times, never inviting people but combing trough the invites. I used to reply with a text-expander snippet too see if a connection is valuable, but this seemed to be impossible lately.

On solving annoying things

The dutch government and other (bigger) organisations seem to have a habit to annoy people. One of the reasons they do so is security by obscurity. It has it’s flaw as shown in this blogpost by @levelsio. He wrote a little script that fetches and forwards all the email, which everyone can do after loggin in with DigiD. As shown, this takes a lot of steps. Automating it can be done with less then 50 lines of code.

Learning about power-usage data from my home

I recently moved to a new home, and I got a freshly installed new electricity meter that’s a little bit more intelligent. It was now possible for me to sign up for, that let’s you access the power-usage data from the meter by a 15 minute window. That’s quite some data to play with! Being interested in the data, I wrote a little scraper that collects it for me and stores it in a SQL database, from there on, with Flask and Peewee it was quite simple to create a little API for my own dataset.

Tinkering with the Meetup API is a service that I use and have been using to organize events for networks. Even though I like Meetup as a service, there are some thing you just cannot do. For example it’s kind of hard to make use of the internal knowledge or connections that people have within the network itself. And you are limited to Meetup for sending messages to everyone. About a week ago I sat down to explore their API, to see if you could somehow build upon their service.

The Metabiography, written in the cloud

Last month, most of my time was spend on a project for Yuri Veerman & Elsbeth Fraanje, who are part of the Quantified Reality project by het Mediafonds & the Sandberg Institute. Elsbeth and Yuri are exploring the possiblities of (auto)generating a biography from somebody’s meta-data and created the the aptly named Metabiography. I was asked by Yuri & Elsbeth to build a working prototype For now, it’s in pre-beta phase, but below is a screenshot how it could look like.

Lessons learned building Django projects

I’ve been using Django as my go-to framework for the past few months. So far I’ve enjoyed the ride, but have learned some things that I’d like to share with you: During project setup, create a virtual environment for yourself to work in. Use the ‘pip freeze’ for creating a requirements.txt that helps you manage dependencies. Don’t use any paths within the views. Instead, use the reverse function for looking up routes that correspond to the url.

Experimenting with company activity dashboards

As an experiment, I’m collecting data from the Moves app from multiple persons within a organisation. The goal is to find out what’s possible with the amount of data the persons generate each day. Currently, the collection of data is ongoing and the next step would be the visualization of the data. Here are some simple graphs you can make with the data:

Further steps could be exploring what a group wants from visualisations like this.

Using Moves data for?

In July I wrote a little wrapper for the Moves App API. But I didn’t develop the ideas I had for it any further due to time constraints. But other projects got me into it and I wanted to share what I’m currently building. I’ve drawn the same concept of a fitbit dashboard over to a Moves Dashboard, so we can use the same data. And I’ve got some friends who come up with great ideas too!

The Curious Corner of the Internet

I’ve been walking around with a newsletter idea for some months now. It all started at Permanent Beta where I gave a talk together with my twin. Basically it wasn’t really a talk, just a roadshow of awesome stuff we come across on our daily surf on the web. The audience loved it! Why not curate this content into a newsletter? That’s just what I did with The Curious Corner of the Internet, a monthly newsletter stocked with the stuff I find during that last month.

A Jawbone API Python library

I’ve been wearing a Jawbone UP for the last few months. There are things I like about it, the app, the sleep interface and the options you have for notifications. Some other things I dislike, the 3.5mm jack for syncing for example… It’s annoying. They have it solved with the next version though.

As with all the other devices that I’ve been wearing I wanted to get the data out of it.