26 April 2020

Twilio

Earlier in the week my iPhone had to be sent away for repair. It is back now, but it was a pain that I could not access work VPN as it sent a verification code by SMS.

Today set up my Twilio account to forward received SMS messages sent to my Twilio phone number to my e-mail account.

I tested it just now:


“Hey Siri, SMS my Twilio Account”.
> OK what would you like to say?
“Hi there Twilio”
> Your message is “Hi there Twilio, would you like to send it?
“Yes”
> OK, it’s sent.

  • Siri used my iPhone to send an SMS to my Twilio number.
  • Twilio received the SMS and sent the details in a web request to my website on Amazon.
  • My web server used PHP to talk to my WordPress instance and send an e-mail to my Google account.
  • My Google account received the e-mail and pushed a notification to all my connected devices.
  • The text the SMS was now available on all my devices.

Now if I lose my iPhone I can get work to change my VPN verification number to my Twilio number. When VPN sends a verification code it appears in my e-mail. Or I could just use Twilio instead of my own iPhone number and use VPN from anywhere even if I don’t have my iPhone with me.

15 April 2020

Wolfram One

In the latter part of my long service leave, restricted by social distancing rules, I decided to try the Wolfram language again.

Wolfram One looked interesting. I am entitled to student pricing so it looked like a great way to learn Mathematica and the Wolfram Language. A 15 day free trial made it even more interesting.

Wolfram One combines the web based Wolfram environment with a local desktop version for use on a computer. The “One” is a designation to indicate the convergence of Mathematica, Wolfram Alpha and web based notebooks and APIs.

To be honest I found Wolfram frustrating, but I persevered and eventually crafted a notebook version of my Domestic Violence Policy model. The notebook version can be found in my Wolfram Cloud Repository.

It was a little disappointing this published notebook requires the reader to have a Wolfram account for interaction, but Stephen Wolfram has to make money somehow or there would be no point in providing the computing resources behind the site.

I did paid for a one year subscription to Wolfram One after the free trial so I will use the time to learn the language and see what it offers.