October 26th, 2011

Ctrl+Alt+Del - Scott & Ted

ifttt: A neat concept, yet poorly delivered

IFTTT (IF This Then That) is a neat concept, yet lacks refinement and there appears to be no log or blog detailing development, new features, or anything (I tried looking at their twitter feed, but almost all the tweets are "@so-and-so Great Idea! We'll add it to the list of features to consider" or "@so-and-so Sorry you feel that way. Contact our support department."). They have dozens of trigger and action channels (too many? too broad?) yet some of the most basic components lack options to fine-tune how they work (Ability to exclude feed articles based on keyword, ability to send only plain-text email via GMail, for example).

As a programmer I could easily write these sorts of connections and have way more options, especially with Zend Framework's Services adapters. Give me a RSS/Atom feed reader for incoming data, a cronjob, and a web service to call and - boom - connection made.

PS: I hate SOAP. Nuff said.
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Ctrl+Alt+Del - Scott & Ted

Private Publicly Accessible File Lockers

We need to make software that anyone can load onto a private server to create a personal publicly accessible (common API) file locker that any site, browser extension, or mobile device can initiate file transfers to, whether one-time-only or repeat use (add only, no overwrite or delete), and specify exactly what folder each transfer (or repeating transfers) goes into. It should also be accessible from personal computers and mobile devices, and optionally able to synchronize to or from a computer.

The reason I want something like this is so that I can easily set something up on my personal server then I could go to my bank's website, view my previous statement, and easily say "Send this to my personal file locker on my server for long-term storage", regardless of what computer or mobile device I'm at. It would also be possible to do the same thing with utility bill statements, tax papers, etc.

The primary reason I would want something like this is because third-party services come and go, and I don't want my data disappearing with them. Many utilities and banks want to go paperless, yet I want a copy of the bill digitally signed by them on my server where they can't retroactively change it without my knowledge. There have also been numerous legal loopholes where if the service is on a server not owned by that person then that person has no say if the authorities feel like accessing their data. It would also be great as a NAS-like backup and sync between personal computers, without any of that data ever going outside of your property.