Easy APIs Without Authentication


A pet cat typing on a computer keyboard

This is a curated list of APIs which do not require usernames, passwords, access tokens, signing, accept-headers, or anything more complicated than sticking a URL in a browser. (This is an update to my post from two years ago.) When I introduce people to the concept of using RESTful APIs, they immediately get how powerful […] Read More

Reverse Engineering the BMW i3 API


I'm really enjoying driving the BMW i3. I'd love to have it tweet its driving efficiency, or upload its location to my server, or let me turn on its air-conditioning when the temperature gets too warm - there are a hundred interesting things to do with the car's data. The official app has some of […] Read More

An API for Amazon Wishlists


In the glorious past, Amazon had an API for interacting with its "Wishlist" service. Not any more though. So, here's the inspiring story of how a rag-tag band of adventurers brought it back from the dead! Several years ago, Justin Scarpetti created a tool to extract data from an Amazon wishlist - the imaginatively named […] Read More

Preserving Deleted Tweets


Go take a look at this tweet https://twitter.com/edent/status/650948940431511552. You can't - I deleted it! I've been looking at how to track politician's deleting tweets, when it occurred to me - is there any way to prove that a Tweet ever existed? It's possible to automatically take a screenshot of a page, but screenshots can easily […] Read More

Google's Secret Screenshot API


I've been looking for a way to programmatically take screenshots of websites. Most of the solutions I've found won't work on headless servers, require complex libraries to be installed, or cost money. So, what do we do when faced with a knotty programming problem? Hack it! Google has a "Pagespeed" service, it allows any webmaster […] Read More

Track deletions on Twitter - AKA build your own Politwoops


Twitter, as part of its never-ending quest to alienate users and appease the rich and powerful, have shut down Politwoops accounts. Politwoops monitored politicians' Twitter accounts and noted when they deleted a tweet. Most of the time deletions were done for the same reason we all deleted content - mispellings, broken links, etc - but […] Read More

Adding WiFi To A Roomba


There are two very clear signs that I'm getting old. The first is that I bought a domestic robot to help me with the chores. The second is that, rather than spending my evenings and weekends reading decades old forum postings, reverse engineering serial interfaces, and soldering components together - I plunked €99 on a […] Read More

Working With The Twitter Videos API


Twitter now allows people to upload videos directly to the micro-blogging platform. It's an attempt to bypass 3rd party sites like YouTube (owned by Google) and Instagram (owned by Facebook). In an uncharacteristic display of openness, Twitter's API allows developers to get direct access to video. This is a quick blog post to explain how […] Read More