Project Twitter sports How We Made @NailbiterBot

How We Made @NailbiterBot

The first full round of March Madness is Christmas morning for college basketball fans: 2 days, 32 games, lots of upsets and late-game drama. Last week, on the first full day of the tournament, WNYC transportation reporter Jim O’Grady casually mentioned that he couldn’t keep tabs on all the action during the day. He wished he could get a text message whenever a game was coming down to the wire so he would know when to neglect his professional responsibilities and tune in for the end. I started kicking around the idea in my head a little, and after work my colleague Jenny Ye and I decided to take a break from writing weird JavaScript to write some more weird JavaScript. The result was @NailbiterBot, a humble Twitter bot that posts a tweet whenever an NCAA tournament game is close late in the second half.

Project Python scraping Twitter data To Scrape, Perchance to Tweet

To Scrape, Perchance to Tweet

At the Chicago Tribune, we had a simple goal: to automatically tweet contributions to Illinois politicians of $1,000 or more, which campaigns are required to report within five business days. To see, in something approximating real time, which campaigns are bringing in the big bucks and who those big-buck-bearers are. The Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE) has helpfully published exactly this data for years online, in a format that appears to have changed very little since at least the mid-2000s. There’s no API for this data, but the stability of the format is encouraging. A scraper is hardly an ideal tool for anything intended to last for a while and produce public-facing data, but if we can count on the format of the page not to change much over at least the next several months, it’s probably worth it.

Roundup events Event Roundup, Apr 22

Event Roundup, Apr 22

Journalists gather in Italy this week, while Hacks/Hackers chapters hold meetups on balloon mapping and HTML 5, plus a cryptoparty.

Project second screen chat socket.io Tabletop Instagram Heroku Twitter sports Fast Hacks: GameDay Live

Fast Hacks: GameDay Live

The Daily Emerald’s Ivar Vong breaks down a homepage takeover experiment.