Harvesting Air Quality Data with a NodeMCU, SensorWeb and IFTTT


Project SensorWeb is an experiment from the Connected Devices group at Mozilla in open publishing of environmental data. I am excited about this experiment because we’ve had some serious air quality discoveries in Portland recently – our air is possibly the worst in the USA, and bad enough that mega-activists like Erin Brockovich are getting involved.

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 5.21.01 PM

A couple of weeks ago, Eddie and Evan from Project SensorWeb helped me put together a NodeMCU board and a PM2.5 sensor so I could set up an air quality sensor in Portland to report to their network. They’re still setting up the project so I haven’t gotten the configuration info from them yet…

But you don’t need the SensorWeb server to get your sensor up and running and pushing data to your own server! I want a copy of the data for myself anyway, to be able to do my own visualizations and notifications. I can…

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Mozilla App Maker Hack – 1

Hola Fellas 🙂
My new experiment(on ubuntu platform 🙂 ) with Mozilla App Maker.
Recently “Habitat” branch patch landed in “developer” branch (main branch in app maker). This will make the running App maker locally easier and now no need to be depend on foreman and all other complex and crapy stuff 😉
All thanks to Scott Dwane (:thecount) for landing the patch 🙂

Getting Started :
This section covers how to get Appmaker running locally. The workflow is optimized for contributors.
Dependencies :
Make sure you have nodejs, npm, and git installed.
Build the System :
Step 1. Create a root mozilla-appmaker directory:

mkdir mozilla-appmaker
cd mozilla-appmaker

Step 2. Forking And Cloning The Repository
Fork this repository, and then clone your fork into the mozilla-appmaker directory:

git clone https://github.com/your_user_name/appmaker.git

Your directory structure should look like this:

├── appmaker/

Configure remote:(If you want to, otherwise it’s not necessary now for building)

cd appmaker
git remote add upstream https://github.com/mozilla-appmaker/appmaker.git
git fetch upstream

Environment Setup And Configuration
cd appmaker
Install Node packages:
npm install
Configure your env:

cp sample.env .env

It’s copying set of default settings for app to use and make setting up for first time easier.

Hope you won’t get any error till here 😉
Now run the following command and you are good to go…Yay!! 🙂

node app

You will something like this in terminal

rishav@rishav:~/mozilla-appmaker/appmaker$ node app
Setting PERSONA_AUDIENCE to be http://localhost:5001
Loaded 42 local components from ./public/bundles
Created locale mapping from 42 locale files, with 0 failures.
Express server listening on port 5001
Express server for noxmox listening on http://localhost:12319, serving content from /tmp/mox/

open your browser and in address bar Type :


Screenshot from 2014-09-13 22:31:31

More blogs are coming on App maker hacks and specially on Fusion of TogetherJS with App Maker 🙂
Stayed tunned…till then Happy HaCkInG 🙂

Ping on #app-maker irc channel or rishav006@gmail for any help 🙂

Flash Firefox OS 2.1 into your Tablet


Excited about flashing 2.1 into your device? Well am too excited!

Flashing can be done via Windows as well as Linux and I will be explaining both the ways:

Point to be remember:

1: You have remote debugging enabled on your device.

2: Screen lock should be off, because when screen is off, device is disconnected.

For Linux user:

Step 1: Navigate to this link.

Step 2: Download all files and extract all files into home directory.

Step 3: Open your terminal and navigate to your home directory by this command.

$ cd

Step 4: Install adb and fastboot package into your system.

$sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb
$sudo apt-get install android-tools-fastboot

Step 5: connect your device through usb and type $adb devices in terminal.

$ adb devices
List of devices attached 
FLATFISH_123456    device

it would show your device name.

if it doesn’t echo anything then try running…

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Improving JPEG image encoding

Andreas Gal

Images are a big proportion of the data that browsers load when displaying a website, so better image compression goes a long way towards displaying content faster. Over the last few years there has been debate on whether a new image format is needed over the ubiquitous JPEG to provide better image data compression.

We published a study last year which compares JPEG with a number of more recent image formats, including WebP. Since then, we have expanded and updated that study. We did not find that WebP or any other royalty-free format we tested offers sufficient improvements over JPEG to justify the high maintenance cost of adding a new image format to the Web.

As an alternative we recently started an effort to improve the state of the art of JPEG encoders. Our research team released version 2.0 of this enhanced JPEG encoder, mozjpeg today. mozjpeg reduces the size…

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Firefox OS App Dev Workshop [Firefox NITT – Reaching out to the students]


The Firefox Club of NITT finally made a public appearance when it conducted its first workshop on campus.


A two day workshop (18th-19th february) on Firefox OS app development.Workshop was mainly focussed on HTML5, CSS and Java Script and how to develop apps with these.Workshop was taken by FSAs of Firefox Club NITT. On first day we started with brief introduction of Mozilla,it’s mission and it’s products.After this we introduced them to Firefox OS and it’s architecture Gaia-Gecko-Gonk.Then app development session started with HTML5.During workshop we had impressive turnout of enthusiastic students and that marked the instance at which the club became the talk of the town.



At end of next day participants devloped an awesome and cool HTML5 snake game. The sessions were highly interactive with the students being too attentive, curious and eager to learn that the seniors had a busy time…though quite enjoyable and satisfying.



We were…

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Regarding Payoneer, taxes for Indian students

My GSoC Journey

Excerpts from the GSoC mailing list (before we were warned for off-topic discussion) -:

  • Payoneer does not issue prepaid cards in India because of a RBI directive.
  • The bank transfer facility allows for transfer as USD or INR.
  • For transfer as INR, the charges are $3 + 3% of the transaction amount per transaction – this amounts to ~$150 for three transactions.
  • For transfer as USD, the charges are flat $15 per transaction – amounting to $45. One needs to check with their bank regarding any extra charges, forex rate charges, service tax, etc.

Clearly, transfer as USD is the best option at this time.

Apparently, there is some confusion regarding the transfer fees. The FAQ and pricing page at Payoneer says that the fees are $0. If someone could clarify this, please post a comment!

EDIT: For those who have questions, please refer to the comments thread of this…

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Ten years later: Dan Gilbert on life after “The surprising science of happiness”

TED Blog

406369_Dan_Gilbert_2004_stageshot_NEWDan Gilbert gave his first TED Talk in February 2004; The surprising science of happiness was one of the first we ever published, in September 2006. Here, the Harvard psychologist reminisces about the impact of TED, shares some suggestions of useful further reading — and owns up to some mistakes.

by Dan Gilbert

When I gave this talk in 2004, the idea that videos might someday be “posted on the internet” seemed rather remote. There was no Netflix or YouTube, and indeed, it would be two years before the first TED Talk was put online. So I thought I was speaking to a small group of people who’d come to a relatively unknown conference in Monterey, California, and had I realized that ten years later more than 8 million people would have heard what I said that day, I would have (a) rehearsed and (b) dressed better.

That’s a lie. I never…

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