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  • By Jarod Reyes
    7 tips for throwing an awesome (conference) hacker event: bash-sign

    In two weeks Twilio will be hosting the Signal conference and thus the evening event that shall be hence known as “a welcoming assault on my senses that I wish had never ended” or “$bash” for short.

    Instead of the increasingly common conference hackathon, we want to give back to our builders and throw them a custom-tailored once-in-a-lifetime event. The goal is to create experiences that bind the creative mind to the rational mind, to inspire software people to live the spirit of challenge, and to create lasting bonds between the carnival-goers, each other and Twilio.

    After years of experimenting we finally have the recipe for an unforgettable builder event — here are the 7 ingredients necessary.

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    1. Do it for the developers

    Most developers go to one event a year – this may be their first and it may be their last. Many Twilio developers will be traveling to …

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  • By Jarod Reyes
    12 Hacks of Christmas – Day 12: Christmas Lights day12

    Well friends, today marks the end of our #12HacksOfChristmas, and what better way to end then to turn the lights out. Our first post was an SMS christmas tree and our last hack we hope will inspire an SMS christmas house! If only Clark Griswold had been able to trigger his epic light display with his telephone?! I think the old Uncle Lewis might have kicked the bucket right then.

    One hacker decided to make this very scenario possible, and we think it is ahead of its time. VisionaryNutcases, an instructable user, explains how to create a twilio-triggered light display using Twilio, Temboo and Arduino. This is a fun tutorial and a great foundation for a Christmas hack and I can’t wait to see what you all out there do with this inspiration.

    Finally I want to personally thank all of the hackers out there who made …

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  • By Jarod Reyes
    12 Hacks of Christmas – Day 10: Mortal Combat day11

    It turns out to be very difficult to work Mortal Combat into a Christmas reference so I’m not going to try (slay bells ring?). Instead I will remind you that even though ‘tis the season to be jolly, you may nonetheless find yourself frustrated, annoyed or just plain exhausted. In those times there is one sure way to work off the holiday jitters and get back into the spirit… by virtually beating up a family member.

    Earlier this year Matthew Kaufer extended mk.js to create a version of Mortal Kombat that two players can play over SMS. No need for anything other than a warm beverage, a phone and the internet.

    To play it yourself, go to this live demo. To see the code and tweak it go here. Until tomorrow, Happy Holidays and Happy Hacking to all!

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  • By Jarod Reyes
    12 Hacks of Christmas – Day 9: Call Congress day9

    Frosty the congressman, was a busy hard-to-get a hold of soul… well, that certainly doesn’t roll of the tongue, but at least it’s topical. Welcome to another installment of the #12HacksOfChristmas. I hope by now you are listening to festive tunes, sipping festive beverages, relaxing next to a warm fireplace with your pet ferret snuggled on your shoulders. But if you, like me, live in a crazy state where ferrets are illegal, then you should probably call your congressman immediately!

    Fortunately for all of us, taskforce, a very bright group of hackers created Call Congress, an open-source tool for implementing very easy click-to-call solutions for campaigns aimed at capitol hill. This tool can easily be deployed to any website, and automatically connect voters with their local congressperson based on zip code. So rise up, put your python-typing gloves on, and make it illegal to shoot whales from a …

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  • By Jarod Reyes
    12 Hacks of Christmas – Day 5: The SMS Garage Door Butler day5

    Deck the halls with Raspberry Pi’s, fa la la la la la LEDs! Today’s hack is another brilliant hardware hack that solves one of the more mundane and cumbersome interactions many car owners face everyday… the garage door. In this detailed tutorial instructables user AkiraFist explains how to harness Raspberry Pi, a webcam and Twilio to create a video-monitored garage door “butler”. AkiraFist even explains how you can enable access for friends, family and house-sitters.

    Thanks for the stellar hack Akira! And until tomorrow, Happy Hacking and Happy Holidays!

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  • By Jarod Reyes
    12 Hacks of Christmas – Day 3: Santa CLI day2

    Hi folks! Today we on the devangel crew wanted to sprinkle the 12 Hacks of Christmas with some holiday cheer. The following hack started out as a Santa location hack. Then we found out that there is no such thing as a ‘Santa API’, which means first we’re going to have build that API and then maybe next year we’ll build a tool for tracking Santa in real-time via Twilio.

    Instead Jarod, one of the parents on our team, put together a fun little command-line tool for sending secret messages to festive little recipients. Let us know what you think on Twitter with the hashtag #12HacksOfChristmas.

    Santa’s Helper – Command Line tool using Ruby-gem, Thor and Twilio

    Growing up in my house during Christmas was a delight. Every year we’d put out a tray of cookies on Christmas Eve, hang the stockings and try to sleep quietly upstairs as Santa …

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  • By Jarod Reyes
    12 Hacks of Christmas – Day 1: The Texting Tree Day1 – feature

    Hello Twilio friends! In honor of that age-old tradition of giving gifts on the holidays we here at Twilio wanted to share with you some of our favorite hacks from the past year. We’re calling it the #12HacksOfChristmas. Please share with us your favorite hacks on Twitter, and happy hacking!

    Oh Christmas tree…that beautifully disguised fire-starter that slowly dries up until January 1st, when it finally gets thrown out on the street to become public-restroom toilet paper. If only the darn thing did more than just sit there?! Well I am here to bring good news, because for todays #12HacksOfChristmas Will Dages explains how you can build your very own texting christmas tree.

    What does it do? When you text this tree a color, all of the lights change in a cascading fashion. So stop whittling away your time, and start hacking away on your christmas tree (phrasing?).

    Here …

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  • By Jarod Reyes
    How to Send Your Users a Branded SMS using Twilio MMS and Illustrator iphone-feature

    Have you ever had a night where you feel like everything funny you say lands on deaf ears, only to have an unplanned, half-baked comment make everyone bust up laughing? I think it was Louis CK who said “…simple truth beats out cleverness every time”. I thought of this a few weeks ago when I was showing some of my colleagues an SMS demo I had made that would send a user a text message once they enter their phone number. I had hoped they would find the demo interesting, but it turns out they were more interested in the resulting text that was sent which included a Twilio logo in the message. As an offhand comment my buddy Matt Makai asked “is this a branded SMS?” Which is how the idea of “branded SMS” was born.

    Of course, we didn’t actually create branded SMS, it’s more of a design …

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  • By Jarod Reyes
    How to Build a Picture Scavenger Hunt Using Twilio MMS, Twilio and Sinatra blog-feature

    When I get together with my siblings (one younger sister, and two little brothers- 12 and 9) I tend to come up with crazy ideas. A couple years ago in Northern California I was visiting my little brothers and had the grand idea to create a scavenger hunt for them when they woke up in the morning. Of course, this blew their mind and we had a great time. So, when I ended up visiting for an extended period a couple months ago, I decided it was time to reprise the scavenger hunt– MMS Style.

    Hunt Photo
    Left: Simon showing one of the picture clues. Middle: Brenden trying to find a keyword. Right: Jacob pondering the meaning of the clue he just received.

     

    How will the game work?

    There are lots of ways to set up a …

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  • By Jarod Reyes
    Keep Grandma Happy by Taking Your Landline With You 541768320_5af7691a1d_o

    About a year ago my wife and I moved into a new house in San Diego and ended up having a landline once again. While I have no attachment to my landline, I do love my Grandma, and this is about the only way she ever gets in touch with me. Unfortunately for Grandma, I decided to take apart my home phone and use it for a Garden monitor last month, which means I needed to find a way to port my landline to Twilio. Luckily Danielle Morrill wrote a post on this very topic a few years ago and with some tweaks I was able to get my mobile phone ringing whenever Grandma called my home number. Now I’d like to improve upon Danielle’s original post and walk you through just how easy it is to port your landline to Twilio.

    How to Port a Number

    Porting a number …

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