Thursday, April 18,
IFTTT is a service that lets you create powerful connections with one
simple statement. You just need to write a Recipe with a Trigger and
an Action, such as:
This way, you can get notified when your stock options reach a certain
value, when the weather is getting nice in Berlin, if Facebook pages you like are updated, etc.
You can get a Sunscreen alert, alert someone that you’ve added a new file to a public Dropbox folder, turn Moped into a stream of package tracking updates, send daily Dilbert comic strips to yourself, and so much more!
Here are some of our favourite Moped recipes: http://bit.ly/QFEZJn : )
We hope you’ll enjoy those as much as we do, and please share your new recipes with us, on Moped @mat.
Also: IFTTT Channel Helps Keep Moped Users in the Loop (Silicon Allee)
Moped is a communications tool. It’s very high priority for us to make sure that you are able to reach as many of your contacts as possible even if the other party is not in moped, yet. That’s why we came up with our email feature which allows you to send out messages to email addresses and converts the incoming email replies to messages in your moped timeline.
In addition to that, we also want to make it as easy as possible to find your contacts who are already moped users. We have two important tools for this: connecting your Facebook account with moped to see which of your friends are already on board and connecting your address book with moped so that we can match people in your address book with existing moped users.
We are aware this is a delicate issue and we ourselves would not want some random Internet service to sell our and our friends’ data to some shady advertising establishments in Eastern Europe. That’s why we make sure that Moped servers never ever have access to the email addresses of your contacts (or any other personal information for that matter, not even their name)
The underlying problem here is how to find matches between the emails of moped users (known to our servers) and the emails in your address book (known to your device). There are two basic possibilities here. First: you can send us all of your address book and our servers find the matches and return back an array of your contacts who are already on moped. But we don’t want to do that because that would mean that we would have access to your address book and could spam the hell out of your contacts. The second: we send you all our user information so that your device can find the matches without giving us your private information. This doesn’t work either because you’d have access to the email address of all Moped users and could spam the hell out of them. (It would also be very impractical to download such a big data set and comb through it on your mobile device)
So, how do we solve this problem without violating anybody’s privacy and still allow everybody to find the people they already know in Moped?
Cryptography to the rescue: hashes!
A hash is a one-way transformation of a string with two important properties:
- Different strings should have different hashes
- There cannot be reverse transformation, meaning the original sting cannot be obtained using the hash.
Let’s say Alice signs up for moped with her email address firstname.lastname@example.org and has Bob (email@example.com) and Cindy (firstname.lastname@example.org) in her address book. When she taps the find my friends button, the app adds a secret string (‘.our-secret-sauce’ for the sake of example) to each email and phone number in her address book and computes the SHA-1 hash of the results. So for our example Bob’s and Cindy’s emails become:
email@example.com => firstname.lastname@example.org => f0e9f69fbf0abe945ac1ac7c385e4fe36e8fb543
email@example.com => firstname.lastname@example.org => 088b70e1a35b60066970255abd7eb906f9ce5cf3
Additionally our clients also retrieve Alice’s own contact card and hash her other phone numbers and emails to improve the chances that her friends who join Moped later would get connected to her.
Our server saves only those hashed values and never receives any plain-text information from Alice’s address book. When Bob signs up for Moped with his email address email@example.com the server generates the hash using the same ‘our-secret-sauce’ string and since the result matches with the hash value previously submitted by Alice, the server notifies both that other one is also on Moped.
As of 2012, the cost of breaking a single SHA-1 hash is estimated to be around $2.7 million by renting CPU power from cloud providers and using the most efficient algorithms. This not only makes it prohibitively expensive for us to decode to your email address but also protects our address book matching database from users who’d like to impersonate others by submitting fake hashes.
Please do say ‘Hi’ if you have further questions or suggestions. I can be reached with the username @engintepe over Moped.
On our iPhone app, you can click a username and you’ll get options to view that user’s profile (which is really simple right now), reply to that message or create a new message to that user.
Try it out…
Note: Only on iPhone for now.
Thursday, February 7,
We’re building Moped to help improve the way we communicate with each other, whether it’s a long-time friend or someone you’ve just been introduced to at a conference.
Photos are a big way of how we share our experiences, feelings and just have fun together.
Today, we’re releasing tools that will help you edit, enhance and have more fun with the photos you send on Moped.
Filters (effects): Choose between 12 different, unique filters
Crop: Make the picture *any* size you want
Meme & text: Have fun by adding some text to your filters.
Draw: Get creative, show your funny side
The new apps are available today. Download now for iPhone and Android.
Wednesday, January 30,
We love music. We’ve made sharing Spotify links in Moped a first class experience. Try it out for yourself.
Did you know you can send emails from Moped? To reach someone via email from Moped, just place “@” in front of the email address. Whoever you’re messaging will get an email from you. They can message you back by replying to your email.
e.g. @firstname.lastname@example.org where are we meeting later?
Pro tip: You can share venues in Moped pretty easily. Foursquare venues show up as beautiful widgets in our apps, and show up as links in Moped emails.
When clicking the venue’s name, in this case, “St. Oberholz,” a popular cafe in Berlin, you are taken to that places Foursquare page which has more information about that place.
Friday, January 25,
Where are we meeting? Seems like we answer that question a lot via SMS or on the phone. Moped has a feature that makes “Where are we meeting?” really easy and fun to explain. See below.
Step 1: Press the Place icon (circled)
Step 2: A list of nearby places (from Foursquare) will appear.
Optional Step 2a: If you don’t see the place you want immediately, you can just type to search for something else. Note: we *only* recommend nearby places. So if you’re in New York, and trying to pull up a place in San Francisco, it won’t work.
Once you’ve found the place you want, Select it, and it’ll be inserted into the message as text.
You and the recipient(s), in this case, Adam, will see the location’s name, address and a map preview.
Clicking on the map will bring up a map. If you click on the restaurant name, you’ll be able to open the location in Foursquare for more information about that venue.
This is a really useful feature for us, and we hope you like it, too. We use it just about every day to set up meetings and coordinate meals. It’s powerful because it’s so simple.
If you like this, and think you could use this, tell someone about it. We’d love feedback if you have any. You can reach us email@example.com or inside moped, @support.
Moped supports Places on Web, iPhone and Android. Get it now!
Our iPhone app gets a lot of the attention around here. Many of us here at Moped use iPhones, but we have always and will always have an Android app. So, this post is going to be about what we’ve been doing over on the Android side of the garage.
Our team comes from all over the world. We’re going to be translating our apps into some of the languages we speak.
As of today, the Android app is available in Spanish, Catalan and Chinese.
If your phone is set to any of those languages, then Moped will also be available in that language to you.
Photo editing tools
This one is fun. Our new photo editing tools from Aviary let you crop, filter, draw on and write on photos before you send them from Moped. Snap a new picture, or upload one from your library, then edit away. If you don’t want to spice up your pictures before sending, you can still send pictures the old fashioned way.
We hope you enjoy these new updates. If you have any issues with the app, just get in touch with us, @support on Moped or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re using our app in Spanish, Catalan or Chinese, feel free to reach out to us in those languages, too.
Download the latest Android app: Click here.
More from the garage soon,
Moped Android team
Wednesday, January 23,
We’ve been working hard on some changes under the hood that will improve everyone’s experience on Moped. As we’ve begun rolling out a series of updates, you’ll have noticed some changes to our web app.
First, the feed is now organized into conversations. Our mobile apps have supported this for a while, but we’re just now releasing this on the web. There’s more exciting stuff to come here here, so watch this space.
The biggest visual change is that you can now click into a conversation and reply freely without having to prepend usernames in front of every messages. This makes conversing much faster, while at the same time keeping Moped lean and clean.
You can still add new participants to the conversation, and once they’re added, they’ll be able to see that conversation’s history.
One more thing: We’re now giving users the option to either click reply or just “Enter” to send/reply. When “Enter to send” is enabled, you can line down with “Shift + Enter.”
We made ourselves an artificial pet. She’s not terribly intelligent but can still talk way better than a normal dog.
We came up with the idea while thinking about how to make testing Moped a bit easier. We normally create test accounts and login using separate private browser windows to and initiate fake conversations with our alter personalities to see how well the things we’re working on actually work. Mobot makes this a bit easier by removing the need to login on different browsers and feels a bit less schizophrenic and mostly funnier.
The Mobot-brain is based on the A.L.I.C.E bot engine, which is supposed to have won several Turing test style competitions and is hosted by Pandora Bots. They also provide a simple API, which we employ a quick Node.js hack. Our Node.js process listens for Pusher notifications from the Moped server, extracts the corresponding message, submits it to Pandora and forwards the answer from the bot back to the Moped server using our still-in-private API. As a matter of fact Mobot is the second app to use our API. (the first one of course being the IFTTT channel).
Mobot still needs a lot of training and we’re figuring it out as we go along but she definitely has a quirky, even if predictable at times, personality which gives rise to many interesting conversations as Adam shared recently.
Talking to Mobot is easy: just shoot a message to @mobot on moped.com and see how well you get along. And please do send us screenshots of any funny conversations.