You Got Mailbot – A Slack App

You Got Mailbot – A Slack App

Current favorite* intern, Braedan Kennedy, has whipped up one of our favorite Slack apps yet.  You Got Mailbot is a Slack app which posts a photo from the inside of our mailbox when we receive snail mail. As a bonus, You Got Mailbot posts a snapshot of the first face it detects when the mailbox is opened. You Got Mailbot posts a snapshot of the first face it detects when the mailbox is opened. You Got Mailbot is written in Python and runs on a Raspberry Pi Zero computer which, along with it’s tiny camera, is about as big as a pack of gum. The Raspberry Pi Zero connects to the network over wifi and starts recording video as soon as there is a spike in brightness when the mailbox is opened from the outside.  The Pi Zero isn’t super powerful so it generally takes 3 – 4 minutes for it to process the video and run the face detection algorithms. Facial recognition is performed by the Raspberry Pi using Haar-cascade Detection in OpenCV. If a good face match is not found then the middle frame of the video clip is posted instead. In addition to writing the code, Braedan designed and 3D printed a case and mount for a Raspberry Pi and camera which is mounted inside the mailbox facing the door.  We ran a USB cable down into the mailbox to power the Pi. You can find the source code to create your own You Got Mailbot in the Outside Open GitHub repo. Facial recognition is performed by the Raspberry Pi using Haar-cascade Detection in OpenCV As with any project, there have been some...
Prank telemarketers with Lenny!

Prank telemarketers with Lenny!

In anticipation of April 1st, we’d like to introduce you to the newest member of the Outside Open team: Say hello to Lenny! Like everyone we get a lot of unsolicited sales calls. Some of the callers have been incredibly persistent so we thought we’d have a little fun with them. A couple of years ago we created the Rickroll line, an extension in our office that plays the Rick Astley hit Never Gonna GIve You Up. When a telemarketer called, we’d transfer them to the Rickroll extension. That was good fun but few were deterred by Mr Astley’s dulcet tones. (You can reach our Rickroll hotline at (805) 364-4511) Lenny is an automated bot – a set of recordings of what sound like an older antipodean gentlemen responding to random questions While searching for some fun to be had with phone systems, we came across Lenny. Lenny is an automated bot – a set of recordings of what sound like an older antipodean gentlemen responding to random questions. The bot starts out with a friendly greeting and then whenever there is a silence, a new question or comment is played – simulating a wonderfully obtuse conversation. He rambles on about his family, home, and finances, doing his best to never answer a question directly and to keep the caller on the line. All are welcome to send telemarketer calls to Lenny, there’s even a subreddit devoted to recordings made by others. Transfer your own April Fools victim to Lenny at (805) 765-1985 Using our Asterisk phone system we created a new extension that forwards to the Lenny hotline. All calls sent through this extension are played a brief announcement...
Install Homebrew on your Mac!

Install Homebrew on your Mac!

There are two fantastic tools to install on you new Mac: After you install iTerm2,  it’s time to install Homebrew! Homebrew is a package manager  – think apt-get for OS X.  It is trivial to install and instantly gives you access to thousands of open source tools and utilities. According to the creators of Homebrew, “Homebrew installs the stuff you need that Apple didn’t.” Visit http://brew.sh right now to get started! Homebrew installs the stuff you need that Apple didn’t.   Top 10 (or more) most useful Homebrew apps to get you started. (Paste this list into your terminal once you get Homebrew installed.) brew install git brew install git-open brew install wget brew install nmap brew install ncftp brew install lynx brew install iftop brew install bash-completion brew install suricata brew install ccze brew install ansible brew install mtr brew install ssh-copy-id brew install autossh brew install asciiquarium brew install cask brew install tree brew install speedtest_cli brew install certbot brew cask install --appdir="/Applications" unetbootin   Screenshot showing Homebrew installing mtr on Mac OS X. (mtr is a fun and useful ICMP tool which combines ping and traceroute into a realtime display of packet loss across all the path entries returned by traceroute.)...