Backup all your stupid tweets with ifttt

Update : Twitter’s bullshit policy changes has made IFTTT to remove all its Twitter triggers. So the following works no more. :(

IFTTT‘s one of the most powerful tools in the interwebs and it keeps getting better by the day. (Take a look here if you’ve no idea what ifttt is). A few days back the site got a complete overhaul in the interface.

Two new channels to automate WeMo devices have been added. It’s a set of magic tools that lets you control home electronic devices. This opens a world of ridiculously awesome possibilities. We can only hope these stuff will be available soon in this part of the world. Kudos to drac for pointing out. 😛

Yes, this is really possible.

Some really cool ingredients have been added as well. For example, now you can _append_ stuff to a note in Evernote or a text file in Dropbox. I was considering backing up all my tweets in Evernote earlier but what kept me away was the fact that ifttt would create 1000 notes for 1000 tweets. But not anymore.

Here’s a recipe to backup all the stupid stuff you tweet. It will create a note titled ‘Tweet Log’ and append all your tweets to that note. This includes all your replies and retweets, but you can opt them out. Feel free to re-use it or create your own.

The resulting note will look like the following:

Notes:

  • This will log only the tweets you post after activating this recipe.
  • If you’re tweet in high frequency and the note gets bulky after some time, just edit the recipe and give a new name, like ‘Tweet log #2′.

If you don’t use Evernote, you can do the same with a text file in Dropbox. Use the same trigger and choose ‘Append to a text file’ action under Dropbox.

And if you’ve created or come across any cool recipes, please do share! :)

P.S. The same method can be used to log your facebook posts, etc.

P.P.S. Yes, you can log the tweets of your twitter-crush as well. 😛

ICS on the Galaxy Note

Finally the Galaxy Note got its long awaited Ice Cream Sandwich update. Long awaited because Samsung first announced that ICS for Note will start rolling out on Q1 of 2012, but it didn’t until May. According to several Galaxy Note forums the update first appeared in several Eurpoean countries. And now it’s here in Sri Lanka. The update came on 31st of May, so I’ve been using it for about 10 days.

How is ICS on the Note? Impressive if you ask me, but not without some issues. I’ll be just listing some stuff I found out to be quite handy below; it’s not possible to explain everything in detail. Also, some of them might be subjective.

Look and feel
As most of you might have seen or experienced, the ICS interface has gone through a massive overhaul. Frankly, it’s fun to do stuff and see the beautiful menus come out. Most pre-installed apps come with major UI improvements. Sadly, TouchWiz (the stock launcher of Samsung) is pretty much the same as it was in Gingerbread. In fact, you can’t get the real ICS experience with TouchWiz. Dumped it and started using the ICS-only Apex Launcher which is pretty cool.

Home screen (Apex Launcher)

Google Play + search menu + Swiftkey 3 beta keyboard

Notifications
The new notification system is elegant. The most useful feature I found is that you can discard individual notifications by swiping them. Can’t imagine how I used to live without this.

Calling
The call log’s less cluttered and is bundled with more useful info. It’s possilbe to reject calls with preset messages using two taps. Switching between calls is now easier.

Other
There are lots more new functionality/enhancements besides these. Multitasking’s been improved in leaps and bounds. The task switcher is completely revamped. It displays large thumbnails, gives you access to a long history and you can remove items by swiping. No need for third-party apps for recording data usage anymore. You can take screenshots without rooting, but Galaxy Note had this ability since the beginning. There’s a Face Unlock feature I’m yet to try out. Action bars are natively supported now. ICS-only apps are coming up, like Chrome for Android. And several new launchers, twitter apps, etc require you have ICS. The list goes on.

The bad
During the first day after the upgrade things appeared pretty slow. A few restarts solved most of the problems but there are still a few noticeable lags present.
Battery life doesn’t seem to have increased as promised. It wouldn’t last a day sometimes. Forums indicated that this is a common issue and most have solved this by running down the battery and recharging fully a couple of times. Actually I did this when I first bought the Note and it improved the battery life substantially. Going to repeat the process in the coming week.
My biggest gripe is the frequent crashing of the launcher. By frequent I mean several times a day. Then I moved back to TouchWiz and found out the issue isn’t present there. A problem with Apex Launcher apparently. Rather, a problem with Apex Launcher on Note. I’m hoping some updates would come out soon and fix the problems.

How do I get the upgrade?
Connect the phone to the PC and start Kies. A notification will pop up saying you’ve got a new update! The process took more than an hour in my case. Note that some settings like the home screen and the app drawer will reset during the upgrade.

Also, I rooted the Note after the ICS upgrade. That would be another post perhaps.

Nearby.lk – a budding Sri Lankan startup

Nearby.lk is a promising Sri Lankan startup which aims to create a platform that lets you find places around you easily. What? Another one of those? Well, yes. In fact, Sri Lanka is yet to get a proper location-based service that lets you find places and businesses nearby. Nearby.lk focuses on filling that gap.

A service of this nature should ideally be dead simple, available on mobile platforms and should have a vast database of information. One of the key features of nearby.lk is striving to be as simple as possible. The layout is unintrusive and plain. It will soon be getting official apps for Android, iOS and possibly other smartphone platforms as well. These apps will include offline functionality, something most apps of similar nature lack. However the project is still in a beta stage, so the database of locations is still growing. Businesses can list with nearby.lk by sending an email to info@infosurv.lk or calling them on +94 112 873 874, after which a team member would visit the location to verify and record the information.

The dead simple and intuitive home page

Provides you with information, shortest path, pictures, reviews of the place (click to enlarge)

Something that should be specifically mentioned is that nearby.lk uses its own proprietary algorithms and technology to deliver its results. The site isn’t just another database frontend that lets you search its tables. The developers are focused on improving the search algorithms for better search results. And its interface sans promotions or other clutter loads super fast.

If you own a business, it will be a good idea to list yourself at nearby.lk as soon as possible. Also, they’re looking for web developers and marketing executives interested in working at a startup. So if you’re interested drop them a mail at info@infosurv.lk. More info here: http://www.nearby.lk/a#about

Full disclosure: the dev is actually a friend of mine.