Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Use Node-RED to Get Twitter Mention Alerts

Mar 31, 2016 GMT

I don't use Twitter a lot, which explains why I often miss mentions from other users. But checking for mentions manually is as practical as playing tennis with a broom stick. Node-RED to the rescue! I already have a Node-RED instance running on my Raspberry Pi, so all I had to do was to write a simple flow that monitors Twitter for mentions and sends email alerts to me. The flow consists of three nodes. The Twitter node searches all public tweets for @dmpop (that's my Twitter handle) mentions, while the Function node uses a simple function to construct a message that is then sent to the email address specified in the Email node. Pretty simple stuff really. ...
Quick-and-Dirty Geotagging with a Bash Script

Mar 22, 2016 GMT

When you need to quickly geotag a bunch of photos with an approximate location (e.g., city and country), a simple Bash shell script can help you to do it much faster than a heavy-weight application like digiKam. The script uses the Nominatim service to perform forward geocoding (i.e., obtain the geographical coordinates of a given place name) and a combination of curl, jq and tr tools to extract the latitude and longitude values. It then uses the ExifTool to write the obtained coordinates to all JPEG files in the current directory. To install jq and ExifTool on Debian and Ubuntu-based distributions, run the apt-get install curl jq libimage-exiftool-perl command as root.To deploy the...
Open Note Scanner: Instant Note Digitizing on Android

Mar 15, 2016 GMT

There is no lack of apps of varying degrees of sophistication and quality that can transform your Android device into a handy note digitizing tool. And if you prefer to keep things simple and open source, Open Note Scanner is what you need. The utility relies on OpenCV software (you need to install it separately) to do its magic, and it does the job without any input on your part. Open Note Scanner supports two modes: Manual and Auto. In the manual mode, it's up to you to accurately frame the page your want to digitize. Keep in mind that the app works best with pages that have dark (or preferably black) borders around it. To get the best possible result, you might want to place a loose...
Instant Streaming from Linux to Chromecast with stream2chromecast

Mar 10, 2016 GMT

What's the easiest way to stream media files from a Linux machine to Chromecast? The correct answer is stream2chromecast. This simple tool makes the task of streaming media files from a Linux machine to a Chromecast device ridiculously easy. Clone the project's GitHub repository using the git clone https://github.com/Pat-Carter/stream2chromecast.git command. On Ubuntu-based distributions, run the sudo apt-get install libav-tools command to install the avconv package required for transcoding media files not supported by Chromecast. And that's all there is to it.To stream a media file, switch to the stream2chromecast directory and run the stream2chromecast.py /path/to/foo.mp4 command. To...
Access StackOverflow from the Command Line with how2

Mar 09, 2016 GMT

Whatever coding-related question you might have, chances are it has already been answered on StackOverflow. But switching to the browser and wading through StackOverflow in search of a solution to your particular problem is not the most efficient way to use the service -- especially if you spend most of your productive time in the terminal. Enter how2, a command-line tool for searching StackOverflow using natural language queries. Installing how2 on Ubuntu-based distributions is a matter of running the following commands: sudo apt-get install nodejs npm sudo ln -s "$(which nodejs)" /usr/bin/node npm install -g how2With how2 installed, you can search StackOverflow using the...
Extension Watch: Beef up Privacy Protection with Decentraleyes for Firefox

Feb 26, 2016 GMT

uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger make a perfect combo for protecting your privacy and combating annoying ads. But these extensions can't protect you against more insidious ways of tracking your activities and collecting personal data through content delivery networks (CDN). Enter Decentraleyes. This add-on acts as a local CDN by intercepting requests, finding the required resource and injecting it into the environment. While this may sound awfully technical, the add-on does its job behind the scenes, and it requires no configuration whatsoever. Install the add-on from Mozilla's official add-on repository, and you are done.If you are curious whether Decentraleyes actually does anything,...
twtxt: Microblogging for Hackers

Feb 25, 2016 GMT

Maybe you are not keen on using closed and tightly-controlled third-party microblogging services like Twitter. Or maybe you are just looking for a straightforward way to share your thoughts with the world directly from the command-line. In either case, twtxt might be something right up your alley. This little tool makes it possible to push updates and follow other twtxt users from the convenience of the terminal. The clever part is that twtxt stores your updates in a plain text file. Make this file publicly accessible via HTTP and other users can subscribe to your stream. twtxt is written in Python 3, and the easiest way to install it on...

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