An official spokesman’s cardinal sins. Plus: Weighing Hillary Lite. Fiber news flows. Plus much more.
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I’m sure you’ve gotten several emails regarding your “continuous Google” — if not, tell me and I’ll build one. I even own a perfect domain name (www.informat.com) that isn’t really being used much right now. The name “informat” is derived from the old “automat” restaurants in NYC, the idea of providing small bits of information automatically.
As for your news feed desire, a standard protocol for a kind of voluntary version of this exists, and is gradually gaining in popularity. The standard(s) are called “RSS/RDF” — RDF stands for Resource Description Framework. About 3,000 news and other sites presently provide “news feeds” using this, and there are applications that support it. For instance, my own website has the ability (presently turned off) to display the top 5 news headlines from several different other websites, such as Slashdot. These headline feeds are updated every 15 minutes.
Users of Linux workstations have a few desktop applications that support this, so you can have those same headlines scrolling by in your panel at the bottom of your screen. I suppose something like this exists for Windows users, but I wouldn’t know.
For reasons I can’t fathom, most of the major news sites either don’t support this or do it “under a bushel” without publicity. As a result, several “news aggregator” companies have arisen that “scrape” the news off these websites and provide news feeds, for a price that varies from free up. Moreover.com costs; Newsisfree.com is free (I think).
It’s still up to you to develop a profile of what you like, and nobody to my knowledge has added a good example-based filter for the feeds (if I were to build one, it would use “Bayesian Filters”, increasingly used by spam filters such as SpamAssassin and Vipul’s Razor). Bayesians would be perfect — as articles come in, just drag the ones you like over one of two filter icons, one for “yes” and one for “no.”
Finally, nobody has done anything like RSS for blogs. Right now blogs are looked down upon by many due to the inordinate influence they’ve had on Google, which is probably going to separate blog data from the rest of their index. Google may already provide some RSS news feeds; this would be a natural if it’s filtered or moderated to reduce the volume.
I hope this info is useful to you!
— Gary Bickford
FXT Web Systems