HomePi – What we will build

As announced before with my post , I am doing my first blog series about building a sample DIY home automation for everyone to copy.

But what will we actually build?

The general idea behind this series is to show you which steps are needed to connect a google home to you raspberry Pi. It may sound like a small thing, but actually some components are involved

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HomePi – Google Home connected to raspberry pi using RSI #wc3auto

pi + Google HomeI am currently preparing a series of blog posts to explain, how I connected my rapsberry pi based sprinkler system to my Google home. I will share code an insights about my journey.

You will need a raspberry pi (any generation is fine, I run a 1.gen) and a Google Home, or just your smartphone with google assist enabled. The more impressive is the Google Home though.

I will explain how to setup the raspberry pi, how to obtain a hostname for you dynamic IP address, the setup of letsencrypt certificates on the rasberry pi, how to auto-renew them, how to write a plugin for the rsiServer (http://github.com/rsiServer), how to setup the server for Token based authorization, how to enable https and finally how to hook up the Google Home to the entire system.

Please give me a little time and support me by sharing the announcement, I will be back with detailled instructionssoon.

W3C rsiServer on github – automotive Web APIs made public

The World wide web consortium decided to create a standard for automotive APIs a few years back. Quite some discussion where going on about the technologies to choose for those APIs. While in the beginning a strong candidate was seen in a JavaScript API for automotive grade browsers which run on the so called IVI (in-vehicle-infotainment) systems, nowadays a more versatile API is the consortiums favourite.

With operating systems (OS) like Google Android or Apple iOS dominating the smartphone market and HTML5 and QT moving into the automotive infotainment world, an API is needed which allows to connect from any device and its OS to the actual vehicles API.

The APIs the W3C is designing will cover different domains. Of course accessing vehicle information from within or outside of the IVI unit is a must – we are talking about automotive APIs. Other areas of interest are location based services that would allow an application developer to access the vehicles navigation core, e.g. to feed destinations into it.

The discussions in the W3C automotive web platform group (https://www.w3.org/community/autowebplatform/) also brought up a REST interface approach that adds push to REST APIs. A reference implementation for a server is made public on github for everyone to play around with an contribute (https://github.com/wzr1337/rsiServer).

While REST APIs are familiar to most of the application developers from using web services nowadays, the approach is fairly uncommon but yet interesting for automotive applications. Especially added some push mechanism will allow application to listen for changes rather than polling them in. This is of course the key differentiator and yet a straight forward approach to make vehicle APIs usable for non-auto guys.

The expectation is to open up an eco system for applications similar to the mobile web APIs like GeoLocation did in recent years.

google code jam 2012: How to solve alien numbers problem

As I am practicing for google codejam 2012 right now, I came across the alien number problem google gave for practice. There are alot of problems out there and I am doing different ones for practicing but solving the google ones seems to be most efficient I think.
The Problem is described as follows:

The decimal numeral system is composed of ten digits, which we represent as “0123456789” (the digits in a system are written from lowest to highest). Imagine you have discovered an alien numeral system composed of some number of digits, which may or may not be the same as those used in decimal. For example, if the alien numeral system were represented as “oF8”, then the numbers one through ten would be (F, 8, Fo, FF, F8, 8o, 8F, 88, Foo, FoF). We would like to be able to work with numbers in arbitrary alien systems. More generally, we want to be able to convert an arbitrary number that’s written in one alien system into a second alien system.

To get the work done, you do not need much code but you need some knowledge of conversion from one to another numeral system.
The easiest way to solve the problem is by using an intermediate value in a known language. I chose the decimal system.

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LA’s 10 Hottest Tech Incubators, Accelerators and Funding in general

I recently came across this article (http://pandodaily.com/2012/03/12/the-la-tech-scene-finally-moves-out-of-its-parents-basement/) which is mainly focussing on the Los Angeles Tech Scene. In the authors opinion the silicon valley is facing a competitive future. I absolutely agree with him except that it is not only LA taht is on the raise but also Germanies capital Berlin. Berlin hosts a lot of european startups, is a very good place to live for young, creative people and already have it’s “own” venture capital network.

What I find interesting most is the list of supporters Michael Carney has at the very end of his article:

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[Infographic] Geeks vs. Nerds

Stuck in a geeks world.. What does it mean? Actually there are “10” different characters that are not easy to seperate for the rest of the wolrd: Geeks and Nerds. But what’s the actual difference? An Infographic compiled by  http://www.mastersinit.org/ is explaining how to seperate them.

While Geeks are more likley to be found in positions like web developers or Entrepreneurs, Nerds are more often working as rocket scientists or reclusive professors. Both are likely to be IT professionals.

I don’t want to repeat all the figures, so just have a look to the infographic below: HostGator Promo Codes
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[Infographic] What makes social games so popular?

Whenever I think of gaming, I think of board games, card game as well as computer and console games first. Most game involve more than just one character and even those who can be played on your own are more fun being played with a friend. Social interaction is a common element in almost all kinds of gaming, so it is obvious that social media should have a big impact on gaming.

Prism Casino took a look at Facebook user satisfaction scores to come up with a top ten list of favorite social games to compile an infographic. Casinos, hidden objects and role-playing games top the list of favorite styles, passing trivia games like “Trivial Pursuit,” word games like “Scrabble,” and strategy games like chess that are very popular offline.  The “Scrabble”-style game “Words With Friends” is on there, but in terms of actual usage, “FarmVille,” “Mafia Wars” and “Bejeweled Blitz” remain the top three social games played in the US and UK.

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Udacity – how to build your own search engine over even a robotic car

Last year I successfully attended “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” bay Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig. Sebastian and Peter are pioneers on the field of free online education and gave an awesome experience to a lot of online students.

A few days ago I received this Email from Sebastian asking to promote his latest venture udacity:

Hi Patrick,

Thank you for your interest in AI Class and congratulations to those who
successfully graduated. We were totally amazed that over 23,000 students
made it all the way to the end in a Stanford graduate-level class.

Due to popular demand, we are teaching a follow-up class: AI for Robotics at www.udacity.com . Also due to popular demand, we now have a programming environment, so you can develop and test software. Our
goal is to teach you to program a self-driving car in 7 weeks. This is a topic very close to my heart, and I am eager to share it with you. (This class builds on the concepts in ai-class, but ai-class is NOT required).

We are also launching an introduction to programming class, where students will learn to program a search engine, without any prior
knowledge of programming. This will be great for students new to computer science.

We are doing this with a new university: Udacity. In the next months, we will offer an entire computer science curriculum through Udacity, and offer certification services so that an entire degree can be obtained online.

I would love to see you in class again! I would also love if you could help us spread the word and recruit students. Udacity is an experiment in democratizing education, in making free education available for
everyone in the world. It can only succeed if you join us and help spread the word.


If you want to learn how to build your own search engine or how to build a robotic car, just register for the corresponing course on udacity.com.

Most expensive grafitti of all time through Facebook IPO

Usually graffiti artist are recognizedas vandals disturbing the world clean look with their Art. They are not known for being the smartest folks. But this view may change in a few days.

David Choe paintings at Facebooks first headquarter may be woth north of $200M in a few days without being sold. How this works?

The Artist took stock for paintings at the company’s headquarters instead of cash. His payout may be $200 million by Facebook IPO. Some other investors, especially the early ones, may even make billions of dollars.

Taking stocks may be one of the smartest move in terms of early art valuation in history. Other than regular artists of his guild do, the Choe had a bright foresight or may he just was the lucky winner of a smart bet.

When Google went to market with its $1.67 billion I.P.O. in 2004, hundreds of people joined the millionaire ranks, including secretaries, a company masseuse and a company chef. This time you can also count in a modern-day renegade artist who uses to put up party pics of himself spending enormous amounts of money on alcohol on his facebook page. Just recently he promoted photos of a $40.000 bottle of alcohol; a single shot is $888, much more than I sent on drinks for a whole party crowd usualy


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