I finally added some screenshots (and more troubleshooting tips) to my guide on how to …

I finally added some screenshots (and more troubleshooting tips) to my guide on how to post to #Mastodon from anything (including #RSS, #WordPress etc.) using #IFTTT

How to Post to Mastodon From Anything Using IFTTT

(Incidentally: I built a new recipe from scratch to make sure I wasn’t missing any steps and tried to publish it as a reusable applet, but it turns out IFTTT won’t let you publish applets that use webhooks.)

On Wandering.shop
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I have updated my HowTo on auto-posting from virtually anything to Mastodon

I have updated my #HowTo on auto-posting from virtually anything (blog, RSS, tagged Pocket bookmarks, etc.) to a @MastodonProject account using @IFTTT, based on feedback, questions, and #IFTTT‘s new page layout.

https://hyperborea.org/journal/2017/12/mastodon-ifttt/

On Wandering.shop
On Twitter

I updated my article on posting from #IFTTT to #Mastodon again to clarify a few …

I updated my article on posting from to again to clarify a few things, and to recommend botsin.space for accounts that will *only* include automatic posts.

I use this technique for several things:
– Link to every new post from an feed at @SpeedForce
– Post differently tagged links from here & at SpeedForce
– Cross-post a very occasional blog here

https://hyperborea.org/journal/2017/12/mastodon-ifttt/

On Wandering.shop

I’ve updated my article on posting to Mastodon through #IFTTT to clarify that ‘status=’ is …

I’ve updated my article on posting to Mastodon through #IFTTT to clarify that ‘status=’ is a required part of the body, and took the opportunity to verify that IFTTT can handle additional parameters like spoiler_text=___ for CWs, visibility=___ to set unlisted, etc.

You can chain them like this:

spoiler_text=Link: <<<{{Title}}>>>&visibility=unlisted&status=<<<{{Url}}>>> <<<{{Excerpt}}>>>

https://hyperborea.org/journal/2017/12/mastodon-ifttt/

On Wandering.shop

Boosting SpeedForce@botsin.space: Setting up a bot to toot new blog posts from SpeedForce.org

Setting up a bot to toot new blog posts from https://speedforce.org #theflash

I’m probably going to stick with that for now & not clutter up your timeline with flashbacks, ICYMI, etc.

Using #IFTTT & this method:

https://hyperborea.org/journal/2017/12/mastodon-ifttt/

On Mastodon.social

IFTTT doesn’t know what tags are *new* on a Pocket bookmark

Last night I tested linking Pocket to Mastodon via #IFTTT to automatically share links when I add a certain tag. (See details). Today I discovered something else about IFTTT.

One of the links I used had an old tag to share it to Buffer, and Pocket cheerfully picked up that tag & sent it out again.

That means IFTTT doesn’t know what tags are *new* on a Pocket bookmark. It only knows that the bookmark has been updated, and what the current tags are.

On Mastodon.Social

Photos: Comet Watch LA

After a failed attempt yesterday, I was even more determined to try to spot comet Pan-STARRS tonight when it would appear near the moon. Naturally, the morning was fogged in, and the fog bank remained on the western horizon all day. I looked on Google Earth for a nearby hill with a western view and public access, and I found Fred Hesse, Jr. Park in Rancho Palos Verdes.

I arrived just minutes before sunset, and found thirty or so people lined up along the western edge of the hill with telescopes, binoculars, and cameras on tripods. It reminded me a lot of the eclipse I watched last May (also in Palos Verdes, though at a different park).

Golden Clouds

Hesse Park has a clear view to the west and southwest, with open space below, then houses, then the tops of the clouds. (I’m not sure what’s usually visible below the cloud layer). Off to the southwest you can see the northwestern section of Catalina Island. To the north you can see Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains. Way off to the northwest you can see some of the channel islands.

Sunset Above the Clouds

We all watched the sun set above the cloud layer. I’m used to seeing the sun set from beneath clouds, but above? That’s unusual!

Last Light of the Setting Sun

Some of us tried to watch for the green flash. No such luck tonight. Though shortly after sunset, someone noticed this white dot near the horizon. Not being entirely sure how far from the sun (or how bright) the comet should be, and not having the moon for reference yet, we wondered whether it could be the comet until I spotted the faint glimmering of the crescent moon several minutes later. (The best guess was that it was an airplane, far enough off to look stationary, reflecting the sunlight.)

Comet Watchers

As the sky darkened, the comet remained hidden. Some of the people with telescopes started turning them toward a target that we could find: Jupiter. Again like the eclipse party, those with equipment were sharing views with the rest of us, so I got to see Jupiter’s banding and four of its moons at two different magnifications.

Eventually, those of us with binoculars started catching sight of the comet, and were able tell the rest of us where to look. At first I wasn’t sure if I could actually make out the direction of the tail, or if it was just that I knew what direction it should be and my mind was filling in the shape. It became clearer over time — at least when magnified.

Moon and Comet

Soon, those of us with good eyesight could just barely see a faint dot, two to three finger-widths left of the moon. It did get easier to spot over the next ten to fifteen minutes, but never really resolved into any sort of shape. After a point, the darkening sky stopped helping because the comet slipped closer to the horizon.

I managed to get a few decent long-exposure shots, though I ran into a couple of problems: First, it seems that 15 seconds is just enough at 16x zoom for visible star trails…and visible moon trails. Second, I was using a trash can enclosure as the support for my mini-tripod, and it was right next to one of the telescopes trained on Jupiter up near the zenith…which meant people had to lean down to look into the eyepiece, and kept steadying themselves on the same enclosure, jostling the image. I should have moved, but I was more interested in seeing Jupiter through a scope than getting more photos.

Red Crescent Moonset

By the time the moon set, a red crescent just touching the horizon, Comet Pan-STARRS was no longer visible. The crowd hadn’t completely broken up yet when I left, though: The comet watchers were still looking at Jupiter and the stars.

Photos: Comet Watch LA is a post from K-Squared Ramblings.

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