Git automation, either in the form of Gitlab pipelines or Github actions, is amazing. It enables you to automate a lot of software maintenance tasks (testing, monitoring, mirroring repositories, generating documentation, building and distributing packages etc.) that until a couple of years ago used to take a lot of development time. These forms of automation have democratized CI/CD, bringing to the open-source world benefits that until recently either belonged mostly to the enterprise world (such as TeamCity) or had a steep curve in terms of configuration (such as Jenkins).

I have been using Github actions myself for a long time…


An updated version of this story is available on the Platypush blog.

Some of you may have noticed that it’s been a while since my last article. That’s because I’ve become a dad in the meantime, and I’ve had to take a momentary break from my projects to deal with some parental tasks that can’t (yet) be automated.

Or, can they? While we’re probably still a few years away from a robot that can completely take charge of the task of changing your son’s diapers (assuming that enough crazy parents agree to test such a device on their own toddlers)…


An updated version of this article is available on the Platypush blog.

I’ve always been a supporter of well-curated newsletters. They give me an opportunity to get a good overview of what happened in the fields I follow within a span of a day, a week or a month. However, not all the newsletters fit this category. Some don’t think three times before selling email addresses to 3rd-parties — and within the blink of an eye your mailbox can easily get flooded with messages that you didn’t request. Others may sign up your address for other services or newsletters as…


How the Platypush web extension makes it easy to customize your browser and connect things together

Using the Platypush browser extension to deploy custom scripts and actions in your browser.

An updated version of this article is available on the Platypush blog.

Once upon a time, there was a worldwide web where web extensions were still new toys to play with and the major browsers that supported them (namely Firefox and Chrome) didn’t mind providing them with very wide access to their internals and APIs to do (more or less) whatever they pleased. …


Keeping track of the derived metrics that matter on your own RaspberryPi

We’re living in relatively unprecedented times, as none of those alive today (except the few that were around in 1918) have gone through a pandemic in any point of their lives. It means that, more than in any other scenario, there is a compelling reason for collecting as much data as possible in order to make more informed decisions. Part of that goes through closely monitoring the number of new cases, deceased and recoveries, as many important metrics (rate of diffusion of the virus, growth rate, mortality rate, estimate number of days before hitting full ICU capacity etc.) …


An overview of current solutions and integrations

Photo by siva kamesh on Unsplash

An updated version of this article is available on the Platypush blog.

A while ago I wrote an article that describes how to make your own Google-based voice assistant using just a RaspberryPi, platypush, a speaker and a microphone.

It also showed how to make your own custom hotword model that triggers the assistant if you don’t want to say “Ok Google,” or if you want distinct hotwords to trigger different assistants in different languages. It also showed how to hook your own custom logic and scripts when certain phrases are recognized, without writing any code.

Since I wrote that…


An updated version of this article is available on the Platypush blog.

Home automation comes with plenty of potential to make our lives easier. But in order to succeed in its task, it often requires you to fill your house with bridges that can connect your smart devices to your Wi-Fi network. Unless you buy a smart device that communicates directly over Wi-Fi (like a TP-Link or Belkin smart plug), odds are that many of your favourite smart devices use either Bluetooth, Zigbee or Z-Wave to communicate. These protocols solve some of the issues of Wi-Fi when it comes to…


The power of Raspberry Pi and Telegram

An updated version of this article is available for free on the Platypush blog.

You’ve got your smart home fully set up. You regularly like to show off with your friends how cool it is to turn on light bulbs, play videos and movies with a hint to your voice assistant, make coffee, and adjust the thermostat with a tap on an app. Congratulations!

But if you’re an automation enthusiast who rarely settles, you’ve probably grown frustrated with the number of apps you’ll have to download and the number of interfaces you’ll have to master to control your gadgets.

You’ll…


If there’s a lesson worth learning from history, it’s that the course history has been mainly shaped by the struggle between competition and cooperation among human beings. And while competition is a feature common to most of other primitive species too, cooperation is only found in more cognitive advanced species — and it could explain why our species succeeded more than others.

A corollary of this lesson is that the sole purpose of any politician, political movement or ideology built around an ideological framework that stresses identity is to maximise consent and egoistically improve its own conditions by flirting with…


The New York Times is one of the few news outlets that has so far experimented alternative ways of content distribution outside of paper, browser and native app.

I’ve received some criticism on my recent article on how to automatically deliver news headlines in a readable format on a Kindle. According to some of the critics by instructing people on how to extract news and read them anywhere they like I’d be encouraging “online news piracy”, and it’d be “technically immoral” to publish my article.

While encouraging piracy that harms somebody’s real (and valuable) job has never been my intention, I’ll try to make clear what I consider immoral.

I consider highly immoral an industry that can’t keep the pace with technology (and doesn’t even try to do…

Fabio Manganiello

Automation, IoT, programming, machine learning, science, math, economics and more. Powered by Fabio “BlackLight” Manganiello and Sneha Divakar.

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