An Update on How I Use IFTTT

by Dan Wearsch

I've written a fair amount about IFTTT in the last couple years, but I've made a lot of changes lately thanks to some great improvements to the service. I just added all the Boxcar stuff today, so if all goes well, I'll probably change most of the SMS actions over soon. I really hope the team at IFTTT figures out how to make money soon, because I'd rather be paying them than have to go back to life before IFTTT.

Below is a summary of how I currently use IFTTT, grouped by destination.

App.net

(A short message service like Twitter)

  • New Posts from Nerd.is RSS feed

Bit.ly

(The triggers below create a new short URL using my own custom domain)

  • New Shared IFTTT Recipe
  • New files added to my Public Dropbox folder
  • New Pinboard bookmarks
  • New Starred items in Feedly
  • New Posts from Nerd.is RSS feed

Boxcar 2

(Boxcar is a push notification service, so these items send push alerts to my phone)

  • Withings Pulse Less than 8000 steps yesterday
  • Withings Pulse More than 10000 steps yesterday
  • Reminders near the end of my workday on the days I need to wrap up and get to the gym
  • A bunch of different reminders tied to my daughter's sleep schedule
  • Any articles about my employer in The New York Times
  • Stock market closing prices on select stocks
  • Breaking News from ESPN about the Cleveland Browns
  • Each morning, a recommended recipe from IFTTT

Dropbox

  • Select photos from my phone move to a specified subfolder

Email

  • IFTTT Updates (new channels and other info)

Flickr

  • My Instagram Posts

Gmail

  • If I Beat My Weight Loss Goal, Email my Wife

Google Drive

  • Withings Scale Weigh-in Details to Spreadsheet

LinkedIn

  • Share Feedly Articles tagged with 'linkedin'

Pinboard

(Pinboard is the greatest bookmarking service)

  • Last.fm Loved Tracks
  • Vimeo Likes
  • Soundcloud Faves
  • Soundcloud Posts
  • Flickr Faves
  • Evernote Shared Items
  • YouTube Faves
  • Pocket Faves
  • Reddit Saves

Pocket

(Pocket is a Read Later service)

  • Vimeo Watch Later
  • YouTube Watch Later

SMS

(The following items trigger text messages to my phone)

  • The President signs a new law
  • New measurement from Withings scale
  • Arkansas Razorback football news
  • Cleveland Browns kickoff reminder
  • Cleveland Indians final scores
  • Current weather at my house is rain or snow

Soundcloud

  • Call IFTTT and leave a voicemail

Tumblr

Twitter

  • Location based trigger DMs my wife to let her know I'm headed home

Best Actor Matthew McConaughey's First Role

by Dan Wearsch

Several years ago, my wife and I were watching an old repeat of Unsolved Mysteries when we were surprised to see a very young Matthew McConaughey in one of their dramatic reenactments.

A shirtless 23-year-old McConaughey mows the lawn

A shirtless 23-year-old McConaughey mows the lawn

McConaughey is concerned about the pervert exposing himself to the neighborhood kids.

McConaughey is concerned about the pervert exposing himself to the neighborhood kids.

That's right, in 1992, the year before *Dazed and Confuzed*, McConaughey debuted in a season five episode of Unsolved Mysteries. He played Larry Dickens, a 1978 victim of murderer Edward Bell. Like most reenactments, it is pretty cheesy. My favorite thing about it is McConaughey's zombie impersonation as he follows his assailant down the driveway despite being shot multiple times.

After suffering multiple gunshot wounds, McConaughey still pursues his attacker.

After suffering multiple gunshot wounds, McConaughey still pursues his attacker.

The chase ends quickly with Larry's mother clutching him while he falls to the ground.

McConaughey's first death scene

McConaughey's first death scene

Not exactly Oscar-worthy, but that's exactly why I still love it today. It's a reminder that our early work isn't necessarily an indication of our ultimate quality. And who knows, if he hadn't landed this gig, a young McConaughey may have quit acting before he got the Dazed and Confused part a year later. McConaughey has been laughed at this week for saying his hero is himself in 10 years. After watching this performance again, I think I understand. He was speaking to a pursuit of perfection, the kind we admire in so many artisans.

I'm not going to embed a video of the episode because everything on YouTube is unofficial and likely to be removed very quickly. However, if you still get physical discs from Netflix, you can get Disc 1 of Unsolved Mysteries: Bizarre Murders to see it for yourself. Or you can just buy the set from Amazon if you're a fan of the show.

What Apple Should Do About Paper

by Dan Wearsch

I've read a lot of posts about Paper in the last few days. If you haven't, I would recommend this overview as well as FiftyThree's response to the kerfuffle. As of this morning, I haven't seen a response from Facebook.

As others have pointed out, Facebook has aggressively dropped lawsuits on many companies who dared to use a name ending in "-book". Now they are demonstrating the kind of copycat behavior they previously found so objectionable.

I don't think a legal remedy is likely here, nor would it result in a satisfying end thanks to Facebook's cash horde as compared to a small developer like FiftyThree. Instead of taking to the courts, I would like to see Apple step in on behalf of one of its most creative developers.

The recent 30th anniversary of the Mac provides an excellent opportunity for Apple to recall the not-too-distant past when a lack of third-party developer support contributed to a decade of poor results that nearly led the company to fold entirely.

It can be easy to forget about past mistakes and tough times when you're the most valuable company in the world, and that is exactly why Apple needs to take care of developers. Third-party software is what gives people a reason to keep using all that beautiful hardware designed by Apple in California. In the case of FiftyThree, they were among the first group of developers to unlock the potential of the iPad as a content creation device, rather than the consumption-only device many assumed it was.

What has Apple done for this visionary small developer? This week, they have featured Facebook's name-alike Paper in the top slot of "Best New Apps" on the iPhone App Store front page. To be clear, "Best New Apps" is curated by humans, not driven by algorithms like other lists on the App Store.

FiftyThree is small. Facebook is big. Apple is bigger. I would love Apple to flex their muscle on behalf of this small developer and get Facebook to own their mistake. I'll bet a younger Apple would have enjoyed that kind of support from a partner when Microsoft was throwing their weight around in the 1990's.