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Connect NewsBlur to dozens of web services with IFTTT

24 Comments and 35 Shares

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to automatically copy your saved stories over to Evernote or Twitter or Pinboard? What about an automatic way to keep track of your unread focus (trained) stories in Buffer or Delicious or Dropbox?

IFTTT (if this then that) is a free web service that automates the movement of data from NewsBlur to dozens of other web services. It also handles movement of data from dozens of other web services back into NewsBlur. Today IFTTT is launching a NewsBlur channel where you can take advantage of their incredible glue that binds dozens of web service like NewsBlur in unique and customizable ways.

Customizable IFTTT triggers

The best part about these IFTTT recipes is that the triggers can be customized to fit a specific saved story tag or blurblog or folder or feed. When you create a recipe using NewsBlur, you can choose which of your own feeds or tags you want to use.

You can also choose to only use unread focus (trained) stories. So you can filter out stories you don’t want to read and highlight the stories you do want to read using the Intelligence Trainer.

Create tasks and recipes with IFTTT

Here’s a sample of IFTTT recipes that you can use today for moving your data from NewsBlur out to other services:

IFTTT Recipe: When you save a story on NewsBlur, it will get saved for later on Instapaper. connects newsblur to instapaper

IFTTT Recipe: Saving a story on NewsBlur also saves it to Pocket connects newsblur to pocket

IFTTT Recipe: When you save a story on NewsBlur, it will create a new link note on Evernote. connects newsblur to evernote

IFTTT Recipe: When you save a story on NewsBlur, add a private bookmark to Pinboard. connects newsblur to pinboard

IFTTT Recipe: Save a story on NewsBlur → Add to Buffer connects newsblur to buffer

IFTTT Recipe: New saved story → tweet it connects newsblur to twitter

IFTTT Recipe: New saved story → post it on Facebook connects newsblur to facebook

You can also take data from other services and move it into NewsBlur:

IFTTT Recipe: If you post anything on your Tumblr blog, share it on your NewsBlur blurblog. connects tumblr to newsblur

IFTTT Recipe: New public photo in your 500px photo stream → share a link to it on your NewsBlur blurblog connects 500px to newsblur

Mix and match and create your own IFTTT recipes using the NewsBlur channel. And if you put together a good recipe, it’ll get featured both on IFTTT and on NewsBlur.

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thameera
2398 days ago
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We were waiting for this for a long time!
Sri Lanka
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21 public comments
t6x6d00vrn
2388 days ago
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Awesome work!
tedgould
2400 days ago
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Seems I need to create an IFTTT account now.
Texas, USA
claudinec
2401 days ago
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Two of my favourite services, IFTTT and Newsblur, now talk to each other.
Melbourne, Australia
ameel
2402 days ago
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Yay!
Melbourne, Australia
elty
2403 days ago
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Love it.
Vancouver
matsimpsk
2403 days ago
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Testing the new Newsblur IFTTT channel.
Norf East London, UK
amaiman
2403 days ago
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I was just thinking a few days ago, "Wouldn't it be nice if Newsblur worked with IFTTT" and now here it is :-) Thanks! Time to go set up some new recipes...
New Jersey
sredfern
2403 days ago
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OMG wow, I connected my wordpress and newsblur in under 60 seconds. Wow!
Sydney Australia
MacDiva
2403 days ago
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@Newsblur + @IFTTT = genius. Congrats, @samuelclay!
Worldwide | NYC
freeAgent
2403 days ago
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Woohoo, integration!
Los Angeles, CA
alexanglin
2403 days ago
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Great addition to an excellent product/service!
Ottawa, Ontario
adamcole
2404 days ago
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Awesome.
Philadelphia, PA, USA
jbloom
2404 days ago
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Finishes a hole with Newsblur!
Columbus, Ohio
nealkemp
2404 days ago
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Yay!
London
rosskarchner
2404 days ago
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this makes me happy
DC-ish
Ferret
2404 days ago
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Well, this finally got me to sign up to ITTT
rtreborb
2404 days ago
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Fantastic
San Antonio, TX
adamgurri
2404 days ago
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Excellent. This solves a lot of problems at once.
New York, NY
gazuga
2403 days ago
If you set it up right you could start using saved story tags as simple commands.
adamgurri
2403 days ago
Yup that's precisely what I've done :)
samuel
2403 days ago
Let me know if there's a way I can make that easier. I'd like to get a way to put focus inside the saved tags text box, but that'll require a keyboard shortcut. Which one?
gazuga
2403 days ago
I can't think of anything semantic that isn't taken. Semicolon?
gazuga
2403 days ago
Or shift-t as in tag. I'm on my phone and can't remember if that's taken.
adamgurri
2400 days ago
Is there no way to tag within the iOS app?
samuel
2400 days ago
Not yet. Upcoming update won't have it, but next one will.
adamgurri
2400 days ago
Got it. Thanks!
chrisrosa
2404 days ago
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holy s**t!!!! yay!!
San Francisco, CA
ashtonbt1
2404 days ago
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Ah, this is such good news. I was just yesterday dreaming about how I used to have my recipes with Google Reader, and here I get to switch them over to Newsblur. Yesssss.
samuel
2404 days ago
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This closes a huge loop for me. Back in May 2012 I applied to work at IFTTT while waiting on my YC application. In the unlikely event that I got into YC with NewsBlur I would have greatly enjoyed working for IFTTT.

And now nearly two years later I get to work *with* IFTTT.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
austinstorm
2404 days ago
This is great! Have you considered Zapier integration? It's similar to IFTTT
Ferret
2404 days ago
Sam, is the feed from newsblur to ITTT putting in bit.ly links, or is that something ITTT is doing? EDIT: It's a preference in ITTT, which I've disabled and everything looks kosher now. SWEET!
samuel
2404 days ago
Zapier was actually in my YC batch. I'm planning it for next month.
austinstorm
2404 days ago
Wild - kudos
Andi_Mohr
2403 days ago
Nice one - about 18 months ago (ish?) I used my blurblog RSS feed to pump data into IFTTT but wasn't happy with the results - will give this a whirl and see if it does what I'm looking for now. Love a bit of automation. Good work!
digdoug
2403 days ago
Congrats! I remember asking about integration when I signed up. Glad to see it arrive.
samuel
2403 days ago
Andi, I expect that the output won't change much, since you can setup an IFTTT recipe using your blurblog just the same. The difference is that there is no comment header on the top of IFTTT's copy of your shared story like there is on RSS.
Andi_Mohr
2403 days ago
OK cheers Samuel - will give it a try anyway!
Dadster
2396 days ago
SO GLAD you worked Newsblur Samuel - and that IFTTT made it without you. Selfish, I know. I love both these apps.

A Worst Case for Functional Programming?

1 Comment and 2 Shares
Several times now I've seen the following opinion:
For anything that's algorithm-oriented or with lots of math, I use functional programming. But if it's any kind of simulation, an object-oriented solution is much easier.
I'm assuming "simulation" means something with lots of moving, nested actors, like a battlefield where there are vehicles containing soldiers who are carrying weapons, and even the vehicle itself has wheels and different parts that can be damaged independently and so on. The functional approach looks to be a brain-teaser. If I'm deep down inside the code for a tank, and I need to change a value in another object, how do I do that? Does the state of the world have to get passed in and out of every function? Who would do this?

In comparison, the object-oriented version is obvious and straightforward: just go ahead and modify objects as needed (by calling the proper methods, of course). Objects contain references to other objects and all updates happen destructively and in-place. Or is it that simple?

Let's say the simulation advances in fixed-sized time steps and during one of those steps a tank fires a shell. That's easy; you just add a shell object into the data structures for the simulation. There's a catch, though. The tanks processed earlier in the frame don't know about this shell, and they won't until next frame. Tanks processed later, though, have access to information from the future. When they run a "Were any shells recently fired?" check, one turns up, and they can take immediate action.

The fix is to never pollute the simulation by adding new objects mid-frame. Queue up the new objects and insert them at the end of the frame after all other processing is complete.

Now suppose each tank decides what to do based on other entities in the vicinity. Tank One scans for nearby objects, then moves forward. Tank Two scans for objects and decides Tank One is too close. Now it isn't actually too close yet; this is based on an incorrect picture of the field caused by Tank One updating itself. And it may never be too close, if Tank Two is accelerating away from Tank One.

There are a couple of fixes for this. The first is to process situational awareness for every actor on the field as a separate step, then pass that information to the decision/movement phase. The second is to avoid any kind of intra-frame pollution of object data by keeping a list of all changes (e.g., that a tank moved to a new position), then applying all of those changes atomically as a final step.

If I were writing such a simulation in a functional style, then the fixes listed above would be there from the start. It's a more natural way to work when there aren't mutable data structures. Would it be simpler than the OOP version? Probably not. Even though entity updates are put off until later, there's the question of how to manage all of the change information getting passed around. But at one time I would have thought the functional version a complete impossibility, and now it feels like the obvious way to approach these kinds of problems.

(If you liked this, you might enjoy Turning Your Code Inside Out.)
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thameera
2415 days ago
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Sri Lanka
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1 public comment
jimwise
2443 days ago
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Yes. Board game simulations, which sort of have to treat the board and pieces as giant mutable state, have struggled with these sort of phasing issues for a *long* time.

Saved story tagging

18 Comments and 24 Shares

It’s one thing to follow a handful of sites and use NewsBlur’s training to only read the stories you want to read. But sometimes you want to come back to stories long after you’ve read them. You could save the story, but then you would have to either scroll down your saved story list to find the story, or use the new search feature to find it by title or author.

Today I would like to introduce a big new feature: saved story tagging. It works like this. When you save a story, it is automatically tagged with all of the folders that the site is part of.

After the story is auto-tagged by folder, you can then add your own tags, which are autocompleted by previously used tags. You can also click a button to auto-tag the story with its own tags, easily clicking on the tags you want to remove.

You can also search per-tag and soon you will be able to rename and delete tags. There are more plans to integrate tagging into both iOS and Android apps.

Saved story tags also have RSS feeds. This is a big deal, since this allows you to save stories and have them automatically ingested by IFTTT for use elsewhere. You already could share stories over your blurblog, but now you have a private RSS feed that gives you far greater control.

Stay tuned because there are even more big features coming soon. Telling your friends about NewsBlur, whether on Twitter and Facebook or when spying over their shoulder and noticing that they’re hitting the same dozen sites over and over again without letting the sites come to them with new stories, goes a long way towards getting new features built. More users means more premiums which means more features getting built. It’s a vicious cycle.

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thameera
2437 days ago
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It's a vicious cycle.
Sri Lanka
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16 public comments
jasonlbaptiste
2437 days ago
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Test
teagueamania
2439 days ago
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I continue to be glad I spent $ on #Newsblur
Manhattan, Kansas
mlupo
2439 days ago
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Amazing!
Canada
jimwise
2440 days ago
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Nice.
Romanikque
2440 days ago
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Not that I needed more reasons to continue using Newsblur, but this rocks!
Baltimore, MD
Courtney
2440 days ago
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FUCK. YES. TAGGING.
Portland, OR
egoexpress
2440 days ago
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Yay, tags!
49.46904200,11.11430400
mihai
2440 days ago
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Yay, the forMihai/forAnn 1:1 tag stream can come back!
Cupertino, CA
dbentley
2440 days ago
And the forDan/forBitsy as well. Oh man I'm excited.
chrisrosa
2440 days ago
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huge! thank you for all the hard work.
San Francisco, CA
pfctdayelise
2440 days ago
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Virtuous cycle, not vicious :P
Melbourne, Australia
chrishiestand
2441 days ago
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Not to be too ungrateful but finally!

Now if we could just enable comments on uncommented posts, and sharing arbitrary URLS via mobile app I will be content.
San Diego, CA, USA
DMack
2441 days ago
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Envisioning using the tag RSS feeds to automatically do stuff at home while I'm at work...
Victoria, BC
dreadhead
2441 days ago
Linux ISO I assume?
satadru
2441 days ago
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"Saved story tags also have [potentially private] RSS feeds." Hello Google Reader Feature parity!
New York, NY
satadru
2441 days ago
Also, any chance of allowing auto-save when sharing?
kicking_kk
2441 days ago
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This is great news. It's going to make integration with IFTTT, Pinboard & Instapaper so much easier. Hopefully the iOS app will be updated with this feature shortly.
boltonm
2441 days ago
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Great addition to Newsblur features - tagging - an even more worthy Google Reader replacement.
London, UK
DrewCPU
2441 days ago
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I saw mention of IFTTT and rushed over there to see if there was a NewsBLur channel. Now I'm sad, but I still like this feature.
New Jersey
samuel
2441 days ago
Just means you can now feed a saved story RSS feed into IFTTT and it will work.

Best At LK. — Colombo LK — Medium

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@Thameera is developer and a hacker I know for sometime who likes to make new things. Like typing.lk which he made last year that trended on Hacker News, this year @thameera and to @malithsen made their newest hack, an idea that I wanted to make for some time now, called Best at LK.

If you haven’t seen it yet go check it out at bestatlk.com.

Best at LK shows popular tweets, tweeted by Sri Lankan twitter users in real time. I wanted to make something like this because there are more and more users joining Twitter from the country and everyday they make up good hash tags and Tweet funny things. I wished if we can get all these hashtagged tweets in to one place and read them later whenever we can. I think *Best at LK* is something that’s on the way of doing that.

I’d like to make some feature requests that I’d like to see,

  • Display of currently popular hashtags and topics, maybe in a separate page or in the main page. The current version has a timeline that’s mixed with different hashtagged tweets.
  • A set of upcoming hashtags that users have started to tweet but is not popular yet, however maybe popular later.
  • An archive of hashtags that were popular in the past with their tweets, so we can come and read them in a later time.

I wish them luck on their new project.

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thameera
2442 days ago
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Sri Lanka
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Very funny, gdb. Ve-ery funny.

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Have you ever opened a core dump with gdb, tried to print a C++ std::vector element, and got the following?

(gdb) p v[0]
You can't do that without a process to debug.

So after seeing this for years, my thoughts traveled along the path of, we could make a process out of the core dump.

No really, there used to be Unices with a program called undump that did just that. All you need to do is take the (say) ELF core dump file and generate an ELF executable file which loads the memory image saved in the core (that's actually the easier, portable part) and initializes registers to the right values (the harder, less portable part). I even wrote a limited version of undump for PowerPC once.

So we expended some effort on it at work.

And then I thought I'd just check a live C++ process (which I normally don't do, for various reasons). Let's print a vector element:

(gdb) p v[0]
Could not find operator[].
(gdb) p v.at(0)
Cannot evaluate function — may be inlined.

Very funny, gdb. "You can't do that without a process to debug". Well, I guess you never did say that I could do that with a process to debug, now did you. Because, sure enough, I can't. Rolling on the floor, laughing. Ahem.

I suggest that we all ditch our evil C arrays and switch to slow-compiling, still-not-boundary-checked, still-not-working-in-debuggers-after-all-these-YEARS std::vector, std::array and any of the other zillion "improvements".

And gdb has these pretty printers which, if installed correctly (not easy with several gcc/STL versions around), can display std::vector - as in all of its 10000 elements, if that's how many elements it has. But they still don't let you print vec[0].member.vec2[5].member2. Sheesh!

P.S. undump could be useful for other things, say a nice sort of obfuscating scripting language compiler - Perl used to use undump for that AFAIK. And undump would in fact let you call functions in core dumps - if said functions could be, um, found by gdb. Still, ouch.

P.P.S. What gdb prints and when depends on things I do not comprehend. I failed to reproduce the reported behavior in full at home. I've seen it for years at work though.

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thameera
2443 days ago
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What can you do, there's some limit everyone can handle.
Sri Lanka
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What Languages Fix

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What Languages Fix

Kevin Kelleher suggested an interesting way to compare programming languages: to describe each in terms of the problem it fixes. The surprising thing is how many, and how well, languages can be described this way.

Algol: Assembly language is too low-level.
Pascal: Algol doesn't have enough data types.
Modula: Pascal is too wimpy for systems programming.
Simula: Algol isn't good enough at simulations.
Smalltalk: Not everything in Simula is an object.
Fortran: Assembly language is too low-level.
Cobol: Fortran is scary.
PL/1: Fortran doesn't have enough data types.
Ada: Every existing language is missing something.
Basic: Fortran is scary.
APL: Fortran isn't good enough at manipulating arrays.
J: APL requires its own character set.
C: Assemby language is too low-level.
C++: C is too low-level.
Java: C++ is a kludge. And Microsoft is going to crush us.
C#: Java is controlled by Sun.
Lisp: Turing Machines are an awkward way to describe computation.
Scheme: MacLisp is a kludge.
T: Scheme has no libraries.
Common Lisp: There are too many dialects of Lisp.
Dylan: Scheme has no libraries, and Lisp syntax is scary.
Perl: Shell scripts/awk/sed are not enough like programming languages.
Python: Perl is a kludge.
Ruby: Perl is a kludge, and Lisp syntax is scary.
Prolog: Programming is not enough like logic.

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thameera
2459 days ago
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Haha
Sri Lanka
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