China cloud deployments and how to automate QingCloud

I have explored multiple cloud providers in China, including QingCloud, over the past two years. QingCloud focuses on private enterprises in China but also caters to many startups too. I wanted to find a way to automate a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) setup and thought I would share my script to build out a bastion host in a secure VPC. Automating their infrastructure is incredibly simple given their powerful API partnered with their private network capabilities. Having worked with clouds in Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, VMWare, Aliyun… I am impressed with how easy QingCloud makes establishing a VPC either from their web portal or automated script. Here is my automated deployment script.

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Algorithmic trading using 100 lines of python code, using OANDA v20 API

After reading Dr. Yves Hilpisch’s article, “Algorithmic trading using 100 lines of python code,” I was inspired to give it a shot. I wanted to apply his guide on how to use a time series momentum algorithm because I have been interested in forex trading with cryptocurrencies. I set up a free forex trial account on OANDA, jumped into a jupyter notebook, and got to work. I hit an issue. OANDA changed their API from “v1” to “v20” and all new accounts default to the new API. I ended up rewriting his sample code to work with the new OANDA v20 API using a third party python library.

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Migrating from Hover DNS to Google Cloud Platform DNS

I recently helped migrate a Hover DNS domain into Google Cloud Platform DNS. Hover does not provide any public API or supported export functionality. Google has no import function built into their cloud console and provides no assistance. In case anyone else is looking to do a similar migration, here are the steps I used to automate migrating all DNS records with no disruption to any services.

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Security, standards, and frameworks for industrial IoT

Industrial IoT Trust

As the world moves towards embracing the internet of things for industrial assets, the importance of considering security cannot be understated. Industrial IoT poses unique challenges to security in combining Information Technology security with Operational Technology security. Many of these assets were designed to serve critical functions and their reliability is paramount. All of the systems that power our modern lives are undergoing a revolution where they will be controlled or interact with software. Assets will be connected to the internet for updates, pushing data, or even remote control. How can we make these industrial IoT systems secure by design?

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Automated drip irrigation system for a hanging basket garden

My wife and I love enjoying Chicago summers on our back porch. Two years ago we decided to buy hanging planter baskets. We were excellent at purchasing plants but did not plan ahead to ensure there was sufficient light, water, or nutrients. Any project manager with a thousand yard stare knows what happened next. Within a few weeks it was a irrecoverable garden of death. Last year I decided to try again, but not fail. I used a fully automated drip irrigation system and the results speak for themselves. Here is how I pieced it together.

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Stop using R plot and learn to love ggplot

ggplot Diamond Comparison

When I first got started I always found myself using R’s “plot” capability because, well, it is easy! Unfortunately, it lacks some advanced features — and the plots it produces are really ugly looking (subjective, but I bet you will agree with me). Luckily, there is a better tool for the job – ggplot. With only a few tricks you will find it just as easy to use.

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Trying AT&T Flow Designer with IBM Watson IoT

The AT&T IoT Platform’s “Flow” at https://flow.att.io has recently announced they support IBM Bluemix with Watson IoT Platform. This is a great hybrid cloud strategy for IoT. After taking a quick look, the flow platform is an impressively customized version of Node-RED. Let’s take it for a spin!

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Using a raspberry pi with a microphone to hear an audio alarm using FFT in python

If your smoke alarm or, in my case, water alarm goes off you want to know right away – even if you are currently half way across the world traveling in China. I run a fish tank. I take many precautions but you really can’t be too safe. I bought a set of Honeywell water sensors which I highly recommend. Sadly, this particular alarm is not IoT enabled. In fact, last I checked all the IoT alarm systems were terribly reviewed and overpriced. Hopefully that gets fixed soon. Until then, I needed to make do with what I had.

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Getting started with LoRa using a LoPy for IoT

LoPy

When a colleague first told me about LoRa, I was skeptical that it was even real. I can use a small handheld device to transmit messages up to 40km to another device for free? It sounds too good to be true, but it’s real. Of course, there is a catch – less bandwidth. But who cares? If all I need to send from my IoT device is perhaps some longitude, latitude, and basic sensor data — LoRa is a great technology.

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