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IFTTT Brings Recipes to the iPad

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IFTTT Brings Recipes to the iPad

Have you ever sat for hours sifting through emails, Facebook messages or Tweets, looking for a specific piece of information, only to be disappointed? There are several ways to search for information like this, but one of the best ways is to assign tasks, so that they automatically appear in your email, Dropbox, or anywhere else you need the information to be stored.

If This, Then That

IFTTT (If This, Then That) is an incredibly easy-to-use website that allows you set up or copy recipes for automating just about anything. IFTTT creates a digital link between channels. In essence, it works with sixty nine different channels, including the major social media channels, and aids the process of filling out simple online forms, as well as, getting channels to “talk” to each other. It is not as complicated as it sounds.

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How It Works

Each recipe has three parts: the channel, the trigger, and the action.

  • Channels are the programs you use: Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Evernote, and any other program listed on IFTTT (currently there are 90 channels).
  • Triggers are the “this” part of a Recipe. Some example Triggers are “I’m tagged in a photo on Facebook” or “I check in on Foursquare.” Personal recipes are a combination of a Trigger and an Action from your active Channels.
  • Actions are the “that” part of a recipe. For example “send me a text message” or “create a status message on Facebook.”

So the recipe would read something like this: if any new photo is added to your Instagram account, then add the file URL to Dropbox. See the IFTTT part of the recipe? There are over 10,000 shared recipes on IFTTT, so you can imagine the possibilities are endless.

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    What an IFTTT recipe looks like

    Pre-Existing Automation Recipes

    There are a wide array of pre-existing recipes for you to use, which can automate a wide variety of tasks. One of my favorites allows you to add followers who have mentioned or retweeted you to a private list by collecting the tweeter’s data from your Gmail account. You no longer need to comb through your emails searching for followers’ usernames and then copy them over to your Twitter account manually. Just plugin the IFTTT recipe and it will do all the work for you.

    New IFTTT iPad App

    Now, you can automate a few things on the iPad with the newly launched IFTTT iPad app. The iPad version joins the already existing IFTTT iPhone app launched last year, and brings some new features: new recipe collections, location triggers for iOS photos, and support for push notifications. Push notifications mean you can leverage recipes to, say, alert you (via Notification Center) if there’s rain in the forecast for tomorrow. Or find out when a paid app goes free. There is even a recipe to automate “selfies.” Any time you take a picture with the forward-facing camera, you can automatically send the image to your best friend (or anyone else for that matter).

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    While recipe collections have been available on the Web for some time, bringing them to the iPad was just a small step in the right direction. It should immediately peak interest, as it helps the user see task-specific recipes curated all in one place, for example, recipes for travel, photos, emails, etc. The IFTTT team has also added location triggers to the iOS Photos channel, which lets you perform an action only when you shoot images in a proscribed area. This is good for creating location-aware albums, or only posting images when you’re on vacation.The curated collections of recipes will be rotated every week, so keep checking to see if your personal interests appear.

    Sidenote: there are plans for IFTTT to support Android users, according to the IFTTT blog, so keep an eye on the web site.

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    Featured photo credit: iPad/3rdworldman/Morguefile via mrg.bz

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    Last Updated on November 25, 2021

    How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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    How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

    There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

    Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

      What Does Private Browsing Do?

      When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

      For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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      The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

      The Terminal Archive

      While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

      Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

      dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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      Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

      Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

      However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

      Clearing Your Tracks

      Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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      dscacheutil -flushcache

      As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

      Other Browsers and Private Browsing

      Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

      If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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      As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

      Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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