Category Archives: Development

Free “Learn CSS Grid” Video Series

Point your browser here to get started with this free video series covering all things CSS Grid.

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Amazon Alexa Meets IBM Domino

I had the honor of becoming a contributor for the outstanding NotesIn9 Video Podcast produced by David Leedy. In this show, I demonstrate how I built and Amazon Alexa Skill for the IBM Domino based IdeaJam app. If you have any questions, please let me know. I would be more than happy to answer them! Thank you, David, for having me on. More videos on building Alexa Skills coming soon.

Taking control of the Browser Security Model

This past weekend at the Devsigner Conference held in Portland, Oregon, Dylan Tack gave an excellent presentation entitled “Taking control of the Browser Security Model”:

Since the birth of the web, the browser security model has remained nearly static. Recent evolutions make it possible for site operators to fine-tune the security model, and enforce mandatory access controls. This session will focus on Content-Security-Policy, and other browser security features like Strict Transport Security and Public Key Pins.

47% of all web applications have a cross-site-scripting vulnerability, and this potential security flaw ranks in the top three classes of all vulnerabilities. [ White Hat Security, 2015 Website Security Statistics Report ]

A Content Security Policy is a systematic way to block these attacks, by whitelisting allowed sources of script, style, and other resources. The holy grail – blocking “unsafe-inline” code – offers the strongest defense, but can be a big surprise for front-end developers when inline scripts and styles stop working!

If you are developing for the web you need to take a look at his slide deck. If you have any questions, feel free to let let me know.

IBM Bluemix Weather Company API with Python

Here is a simple example of calling the IBM Weather Company REST API using Python. The program asks for a US ZIP code and then displays some of the data. A perfect program for an intro to programming class. Also, on GitHub.


# Using the IBM Bluemix Weather Company API
# Bruce Elgort
# July 9, 2016
# Version 1.0
# IBM Weather Company Docs: https://console.ng.bluemix.net/docs/services/Weather/weather_rest_apis.html#rest_apis

import requests
import json

def get_weather(zip):
    username = 'your username'
    password = 'your password'

    watsonUrl = 'https://twcservice.mybluemix.net/api/weather/v1/location/' + zip + ':4:US' + '/observations.json?language=en-US'

    try:
        r = requests.get(watsonUrl,auth=(username,password))
        return r.text
    except:
        return False

def display_weather(results):
    print()
    print('Here is the weather for {0}'.format(results['observation']['obs_name']))
    print('{0:20} {1:<10}'.format('Current Temperature:',str(results['observation']['temp']) + '° and ' + results['observation']['wx_phrase']))
    print('{0:20} {1:<10}'.format('Feels Like: ',str(results['observation']['feels_like']) + '°'))
    print('{0:20} {1:<10}'.format('Low Temp: ',str(results['observation']['min_temp']) + '°'))
    print('{0:20} {1:<10}'.format('High Temp: ',str(results['observation']['max_temp']) + '°'))
    print('{0:20} {1:<10}'.format('Winds:',str(results['observation']['wspd']) + ' mph coming from the ' + results['observation']['wdir_cardinal']))

def get_weather():
    zip = input('Enter US ZIP code to get weather for:\n')
    results = get_weather(zip)
    if results != False:
        results = json.loads(str(results))
        display_weather(results)
    else:
        print('Something went wrong :-(')

if __name__ == '__main__':
    get_weather()