Validate Ruby objects with Active Model Validations

In the world of Rails and Active Record, validating data and storing it in a database is easy. If you’d ever built a simple site that stores data in a Google Spreadsheet then you’d quickly learn that users can enter anything (or nothing). In this post we’ll see how to validate input using part of Active Record: ActiveModel::Validations. Spreadsheets can be databases too In my last post… Read More

Create a landing page with Sinatra, Google Spreadsheets, and Ruby

In my career I’ve been tasked with building landing pages to capture user interest in a product or application. We’d want details from potential users, such as their name, and email address and phone number to contact them when the app was ready. You could choose to use a Google Form but you’re left with a page that looks like a Google Form then. As I showed… Read More

Curing the Post MAGFest Blues with Twilio, Ruby, Sinatra and SEGA music

MAGFest is a video game music festival with just about everything fun that you can imagine: a giant arcade, amazing video game cover bands, tons of nerdy merchandise and a fantastic community. Going back to normal life can be a bit of a bummer after partying with some best friends you only see a few times a year. Based on a suggestion from my pals at theshizz, I built a phone-based… Read More

Get Sentimental About SMS with Twilio, Bluemix and AlchemyAPI

IBM’s Bluemix platform is home to an ever growing number of cognitive computing services that, as developers, we can use in our applications to learn more about our data. Earlier this year Ricky showed us how combining Watson’s question and answer API, Twilio and Node.js could get us answers to health questions. Also living under the Watson banner, AlchemyAPI is a set of services for understanding content… Read More

Record Bad Customer Service Calls in 30 Lines of Ruby

tl;dr If you’d like to record a phone call, three-way call 888.909.1024 or +44 203 389 52 12 into the conversation and you’ll get a text with the recording when you hang up.  About this time last year, Ryan Block’s “Comcast Call from Hell” made the social network rounds. It was an infuriating eight minute clip of him trying to cancel his service but getting stonewalled by the customer service rep… Read More

Send and Receive Tweets using SMS with Twilio: Part 1

You may have just read the title and thought, “What? Can’t you already send and receive tweets over SMS?” You would be right to think that, Twitter has a load of shortcodes for different countries for sending and receiving tweets. But since February 4th in the UK, O2, one of the major mobile operators, announced to their users (by SMS ironically) that they were dropping this… Read More

TaskRouter and the Internet of Things

The King of Cool

There are millions of devices hooked up to the Internet and generating data, from refrigerators monitoring their contents to webcams tracking intruders. These connected devices, collectively referred to as the “Internet of Things” often create work that needs to be done by humans. How do we keep track of all that work? How do we assign that work to an appropriately skilled and available worker? How… Read More