woensdag 12 april 2017

My bot ALEXA: from news-update to reading mail

Amazons software for bot Alexa is ported to Raspberry Pi. It is a nice experience asking for the news (BBC or NYTimes), listen to the emails I just received.

Installing is a piece of cake.
Here is the recipe: How to Build Your Own Amazon Echo with a Raspberry Pi .
Two problems after installing:
- I cannot get the wakewordagent working; it means that instead of yelling ALEXA... I now have to push the button 'listen' to start my question.
- of course you want to use your local settings; here is howto: Using outside the US . 
  The time zone can be set, but not the location; it does accept only US, GB and DE zip codes. I am stick with Dusseldorf weather.



dinsdag 3 januari 2017

The Electronic Barometer

This goes beyond data journalism. It is a project about the Internet of Things, studying the relationship between measurement/observation, data and storing data, and finally retrieving, analyzing and visualizing data if possible real time. Here is the story.

maandag 2 januari 2017


In part 1 we discussed publishing real time data, in part 2 I highlighted storing data in a database and publishing them on a blog. In the last part 3 of this series I will pay attention to retrieving data from the database and visualizing the query results.
The simplest way to retrieve data from MYSQL is installing phpMyAdmin, which gives you complete control of the database, tables and queries. phpMyAdmin makes building a query and exporting it to .csv very easy. The exported .csv can be used for further analysis with for example Excel and visualizing with Google.
More interesting is to make a direct connection to the database from R, making the query, analyze and visualize directly from R. Finally, I pay attention to publishing these results online with plot.ly rest API.


It is nice to read real time the changes in the pressure as an indication of changes in the weather. However, the observations once published are lost.  It would be much better to store the measurements as data in for example MYSQL and publish the data from the database in Wordpress.