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  • By John Britton
    Getting Started with Twilio and Node.js logo

    See the most updated version of this post and our new Node.js module here.

    Node.js is one of the most talked about frameworks in the web development community since Rails. While still very young, node is being hailed as fast, highly-scalable and efficient. The reason for this is due to node’s event-driven, non-blocking I/O structure.

    One of the reasons we’re so psyched about node.js is that combining it with Twilio makes building awesome telephony apps really easy. In this post, I’m going to take you through the basics of setting up Twilio with node.js. I’ll be using the node-twilio helper library by Stephen Walters to get you started with the basics of initiating a call and then answering it. [Update: the most recent Node.js library for Twilio can be found here]

    Installation

    For this project I’m working on the ...

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  • By John Britton
    Twilio in the Northeast at RailsConf, RamenCamp, and TechCrunch Disrupt logo

    This week we’ll be at events all over the Northeast. We’ll be in Baltimore, Boston, and New York City. We’re going to be attending one big event in each city as well as a few meetups and other smaller gatherings, send us an email if you’d like to get together.

    Baltimore: 17-19 May for RailsConf

    RailsConf LogoRailsConf is on now, if you’re at the event or nearby reach out to @johndbritton. This morning’s keynote by DHH was a great kickoff and we’re really looking forward to the rest of the week. Need help with your Rails app? Call the Rails Hotline and get help from an expert for free.

    Boston: 19-21 May for RamenCamp

    RamenCamp Logo
    RamenCamp is this Saturday, and there are still around twenty tickets remaining. I’ll be in town Thursday-Saturday and will be making visits to a few startups and coworking spaces ...

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  • By John Britton
    Callaboraoke – Karaoke by Phone with Friends at Music Hack Day logo

    Music Hack Day Logo

    Music Hack Day San Francisco is just over a week away. Get ready and come build the future of music with us. This is the second time Music Hack Day has come to San Francisco, and it’s timed to coincide with the San Francisco Music Tech Summit. This year the event will be hosted at Tokbox in SoMA, just a few blocks from our office.

    Back in February I organized the 12th ever Music Hack Day, but it was the first for New York City. The event was a blast, we ended up with 72 Hacks presented, including a few that used Twilio. Here’s an account of Music Hack Day NYC by Marvin Li from VEVO to give you an idea of what the event is like. Marvin and his team created Callaboraoke, a fun way to sing songs with your friends.

    We were super stoked about our ...

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  • By John Britton
    Omniauth, Messaging, and Fat Models at Red Dirt Ruby Conference logo

    Last week I took a trip out to Oklahoma for the second annual Red Dirt Ruby Conference. It was a good chance to meet with community members from around the country. There were a bunch of new people and quite a few familiar faces.

    Overall, the quality and quantity of content were very high. I’ve got a few favorites to present below.

    Omniauth from the Ground Up

    Omniauth makes it easy to connect with third party authentication from your Ruby application. I was able to implement sign in with github in less than ten minutes and a very small amount of code. Omniauth supports a ton of different authentication methods. It’s not just OAuth, there’s even an LDAP adapter. From the README on github.

    OmniAuth is a Rack-based authentication system for multi-provider external authentcation. OmniAuth is built from the ground up on the philosophy that authentication is ...

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  • By John Britton
    CallCongress Makes it Easy to Call Your Senators and Representatives logo

    067dee0622b24e5cbc56f8f96d4f0cb8

    Do you want your voice to be heard? Then you should call your elected officials and make sure they know what issues are important to you. Government contact information is available over at USA.gov, but there is a better way to get connected. Use CallCongress.

    Call (888) 491-2262

    Callers are prompted to select from the names of their senators and representatives. With just one press on the keypad, the caller is connected directly to the office of the selected official. Go ahead and give it a try.

    Technologies Used

    • Ruby – My favorite programming language. It’s dynamically typed and maximizes programmer happiness.
    • Sinatra – A super simple framework for building web applications in Ruby.
    • Builder – A Ruby library for creating XML documents.
    • Sunlight Congress API – Easy access to data on elected officials, including phone numbers.
    • Heroku – Easy hosting for Ruby applications (free for small applications).
    • Twilio – An API for building ...
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  • By John Britton
    People Patcher – Get Your Friends to Make Up logo

    Photo

    Every relationship has it’s ups and downs, now you can help your friends talk through tough times. Mike Lewis created People Patcher to “anonymously phone-conference two friends together, whether they want to talk or not.”

    What’s the back story of People Patcher?

    People Patcher was one of those ideas that crept up in my head when I was laying down to sleep. I had just seen your Twilio demonstration at the NYC Tech Meetup, so phone systems were on the brain. I was basically a “hrmmm, that could be sort of fun” kind of idea. I get lots of weird ideas, but I felt that this would be a great one to pursue because I really wanted to learn the Twilio API.

    Once I decided that I was going to do it, I couldn’t really pull myself away from the keyboard for the next 2 days while ...

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  • By John Britton
    Twilio on the Road in January – PennApps and Philly Startup Weekend logo

    I made two trips to Philadelphia in January. The first was for PennApps and a I took the Amtrak from NYC a second time for Philly Startup Weekend. I’ll be back again in April for Philly Tech Week and I’m really looking forward to it.

    PennApps Mobile Hackathon

    PennApps Logo

    I’ve been to a lot of hackathons, and I was really impressed by the Dining Philosophers of UPenn for putting together such a quality event. The student organized double all-night hackfest was very well put together, the students were really driven and lots of them put in all nighters to make their apps shine.

    I gave three API demos on Friday night: voice and SMS using the Twilio API, accessing the hivemind using the Wikipedia API, and a third on building cross platform mobile apps with Titanium Mobile. I was really hoping to see a team build a mashup ...

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  • By John Britton
    SMS Door Locks, Humans VS Zombies, and Test Prep at Twilio Meetup NYC logo

    Last week’s Twilio Meetup in New York was a great success. We had three SMS talks and I managed to grab video of them all. Join us for a Meetup in your city or organize you’re own. We’re here to help.

    Unlock your doors with Twilio SMS

    Sri and Devon from Knewton built an awesome Twilio + Arduino device to unlock the door to the office using SMS.

    Get mission updates via SMS

    Stony Brook student and Twilio developer contest winner Jonathan Gottfried gave a tech talk on the notification system he built for a campus wide game of Humans VS Zombies.

    Use SMS to Study for your next test

    Pete Miron showed how simple it is to build SMS applications by digging into the code behind his Twilio based SMS question and answer self study system.

    Join us next time

    Sorry you missed us? Get notified about ...

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  • By John Britton
    NYHacker Presents Music Hack Day New York logo

    Register for Music Hack Day New York

    NYHacker Presents Music Hack Day New York Logo

    On behalf of NYHacker, “the nyc hacker union” I am proud to announce Music Hack Day New York. Since the first Music Hack Day, (London, July 2009) New York has been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the most awesome music hackfest on the planet.

    Music Hack Day is about creating software, hardware, art… anything at all related to music. We’ll kick the event off with a few short tech talks from leading music startups and then jump right into hacking. There will also be longer form workshops throughout the event to get down and dirty with the latest in music tech. To wrap it all up all creators will be given a chance to strut their stuff and win fame and fortune (prizes) for their hard work.

    We’ve got a great lineup of speakers that we’ll be announcing over the ...

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  • By John Britton
    New York and Toronto Host Twilio Meetups in January logo

    Twilio Meetups are happening across the country. So far there have been events in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Denver, Nashville, Madison, and more. In January there is a Twilio Meetup happening in New York and another in Toronto. If you’re in the neighborhood, come on by and if you’re not, start a Twilio Meetup of your own.

    New York City Pay Phone

    Twilio Meetup New York – RSVP

    Date: 13 January 2011
    Time: 6:30PM
    Location: Knewton HQ (map)

    I’m based in New York and organize an event every month for the Twilio community. Next Thursday we’ll be meeting at Knewton for talks, food, and drinks. The theme of the event is SMS, and we’ll have three community members presenting their favorite hacks. Check out the post on Knewton’s blog.

    • Knewton – The team built an SMS controlled door lock for their office, they’re going to give us a ...
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