Thursday, May 31, 2012

News On Shuffle

I'm visiting fewer websites directly for news and using an RSS newsreader to skim headlines. Unfortunately I had a hard drive die and I hadn't exported an OPML file from the program I'm using, so getting all my feeds back as they were will likely never happen. I suppose that I wouldn't have had a problem if I used Google Reader, but why encourage those fucks?

So, for the Mac folks out there, what I use is NetNewsWire, which at this point is adware: a corner on the bottom left is an ad until you cough up dough. Not too bad. It has a built-in browser but I have it spit the linkage into Firefox, which I have set to open new tabs when another application knocks on its door: do a little headline skimming and soon you have 50 tabs loaded up in the background and you close tabs as you're done with the items. If you're on some kinda portable thingie that's going to be out of range of wireless for a while that's pretty useful.

So about the feeds: I did have a very old OPML file around so I added that, and then I found a bunch of news and photography and design and geek stuff. Most of the nifty OPML files you can find around are pretty old though, as it seems to have been a Hot Thing for a little while and then people forgot they could share. This is one of the easiest-to-find files out there, but it's got a lot of computer stuff and business stuff and a bunch of the feeds are dead (NetNewsWire is pretty good at letting you know which feeds are toast).

The real strength of NetNewsWire is this: it can line up all the headlines from every feed in alphabetical order.

Here you can see that only news organizations start items with quotes.

Mashing all the headlines together means that it isn't absurd to have a bazillion feeds, because you're skimming every feed at once and the luck of the draw pushes items to the top of the list. As with iTunes and shuffle it suits the way I like to do things in any case, and it pushes things in front of my eyes that I otherwise wouldn't choose to navigate to out of the blue.

So: this may be unwise to download and use unless you're some future version of me with the same kind of reading style, as adding thousands of feeds to the average newsreader might not work out so well and I haven't yet deleted all the .NET developers and venture capitalist assholes, but all of these feeds have been updated in the last three months. There's a bunch of news, a far larger amount of geeks (geeks are good because they can't maintain a focus and throw out good links now and again), a bunch of pretty graphics stuff for computers, some photography, some chemistry for some reason, and god knows what else. Instapundit I think, HA HA. Nearly nobody from my blogroll: I like to actually visit those sites and not lose them to the chaos of thousands of other items.

If I have any sense I'll post an updated version once I've done some more culling. If you can export an OPML file share it: I will incorporate it into this mess and maybe post a consolidated file one day.


But for the single item in the feed for A Welsh View I would never have seen this:

Boy am I grateful.


M. Bouffant said...

why encourage those fucks?
Mostly 'cause I'm depressed & all action seems like an incredible imposition on me. And that looks like WORK!

One thing about Chrome, I had to (have someone) install a new OS 'cause the devil-box got a virus a few mos. ago, & afterwards all my bookmarks were still there, from Google's cloud.

Substance McGravitas said...

I don't do bookmarks any more. But Apple has some cloud bullshit so I can store stuff in there I guess.

Brando said...

Red Bull not only gives you wings, but apparently tuberculosis as well.

Smut Clyde said...

soon you have 50 tabs loaded up in the background

I have moved on from those days sir.