Tracking North Korea with @marcus_noland

I mentioned yesterday on Twitter that Swarthmore pal @marcus_noland and I have been chatting about North Korea for a very long time.  I found that I had commented on Marc’s North Korea blog as early as 2011.  I also went back and checked my gmail — I found a message from 2005.  And I’m pretty sure that I remember contacting Marc about an idea to assemble a North Korea data set for CIESIN when I was working there in the mid 1990s.

All this long term attention to North Korea has paid off for Marc, who is one of the world’s foremost experts on the North Korean economy.  It’s hard to say exactly how I have benefitted, except from being unsurprised that Dennis Rodman is attending the summit in Singapore.   Psychic income, I guess!


trigger a bash script from Alexa using IFTTT and incrontab

[–]LiveMike78 1 point 

It is just a text file – it doesn’t really matter on the content, but I include the trigger time for reference.

Here is an example:

I have a bash script called “” that moves photos into sorted folders I want to trigger from Alexa.

  • Create IFTTT applet with Alexa trigger on the phrase “upload”
  • Add IFTTT Dropbox action “Create a text file”. Create a text file called “upload.txt” with the content “TriggeredAt” in Dropbox path “IFTTT/Scripts/Upload/”
  • On Ubuntu edit “incrontab” (incrontab -e) and add the following trigger: “/home/user/Dropbox/IFTTT/Scripts/Upload/ IN_MODIFY,IN_CREATE,IN_MOVED_TO bash /home/user/scripts/”

Now, if I say “Alexa, trigger upload” IFTTT will create a file called “upload.txt” in my dropbox (or upload(1).txt, upload(2).txt, etc.) Incrontab will detect the file added and fire off the bash script.

You may need to play around with the incrontab permissions to let it run the bash script as the appropriate user.

No Updates to My Privacy Policy

Hello <contact of Fred>,

I am not updating my Privacy Policy as of May 25, 2018. Here are some of the changes you won’t see:

  • I haven’t updated the Policy to reflect changes in data privacy laws, specifically the General Data Protection Regulation in the European Union.
  • I’ve added no new details about your ability to manage the information you share with us, and no tools to help you do that.

This non-updated Policy gives you no more control over your information and does not explain more clearly how I use it. My core commitment regarding your privacy hasn’t changed.

I am not making any  related changes to our Terms of Use and Cookie Policy so everything will remain out of sync.

As always, thanks for writing me , and please  let me know if you have any questions or feedback.


Eagle eye!

I downloaded a data set the other day for curiosity, opened it up, and immediately found a probable error: the population of Paris went from 9M in 1975 to 2M in 2000.  Confirmed today by provider.  I’m actually kind of a crappy proof reader — I tend to miss things — but I’m a great spot inspector.  Made my day!