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Joe Flasher
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I'm starting a new job next week at iStrategyLabs ( and was thinking about something cool I could bring along with me. Combine that with the fact that I've always wanted to have a personal soundtrack playing when I got places and they fact that I've wanted to play around with Rdio's API ( and you've got yourself a project idea! I put together a proof of concept of a system that'll let you Enter Work Like A Rockstar (to music)!

What I'm going to describe below (and show in the video) is a system that will detect when a device (like your phone) connects to a network (wifi) and will then connect to your Rdio account, pull a song from a predefined playlist and play it for you as you walk through the door. Nifty! 

It's got a couple of pieces and I'll lay them out in a logical order.

1. The first piece is Fing (, a command line tool that will monitor network statistics, in this case, we're using it to monitor devices connected to a network. Fing is used to log any changes to the device list, and will dump out the MAC address of any newly connected devices.

2. The second piece is a Python script to monitor the Fing output file from 1.  It sits there and waits for a new line (new device) to appear in the file. Once that happens, we move on to 3.

3. The third piece is another Python script that will take the newly added MAC address and compare it to a loca list containing MAC addresses and corresponding Rdio usernames and a person's nickname. If we find the MAC address in that list, we call out to the Rdio API with their username. We then search their playlists for a blessed playlist name like 'My Personal Soundtrack'. We then grab a random song from that playlist and get it's track key and move on to step 4.

4. The endpoint of the Python script in step 3 is to call out to a locally hosted URL with the 'trackKey' and 'shortName' parameters. This will open up an HTML page with an associated JS script that will initiate the Rdio player, auto-play the song and display a friendly, personalized welcome message. 

That's it, easy peasy! You can see the scripts in action in the video. I'll try and move this all to GitHub at some point in the future. 

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Sunday afternoon hacking project complete! I have built off of my previous UB Air Pollution API and added the ability to have it tweet out the air quality measurements. So if you watch the @UB_Air Twitter account at, you should (hopefully) see air quality updates at 9am, 2pm and 7pm. For info on the tech side, see and for info about the pollution side, see

Thanks so much to +Christa Hasenkopf for helping me figure out what to do! 

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Trying out the new hat to go with my дээл.

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It's trash burning day in the city! 
October 27, 2012 (5 photos)
5 Photos - View album

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I think I might have just made the switch to using Google+ as my 'blogging' platform rather than my website. Not like it's really that much of a change since I didn't do much updating anyways, but there it is.

But I'm burying the lead. Because of this switch, I wanted to announce over here (if anyone is interested) that I've recently accepted a job in DC with iStrategyLabs and will be starting there in early December. For those keeping track, that means I'll be moving back from Mongolia to the US and moving to a new city. Should be a fun adventure! 

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This is how we opened TEDxUlaanbaatar. She is balancing on a pole with her mouth and playing the яатга. I dare you to tell me that's not epically hardcore!
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