Archive for the 'aggregators' Category

Is Microsoft Trying To Kill Us?

What on earth are Microsoft trying to do here? This is the US Software Patent office at its most ridiculous ever!! It has filed a patent on the Windows RSS Platform. Does this apply to Europe?

Part of the application appears to be describing the auto-discovery methods of detecting feeds in a page, but what about the rest of it? Is it for desktop Windows applications? Is it web aggregators? Time to call the lawyer.

If granted, one proposed patent would cover “finding and consuming Web subscriptions in a Web browser.” The invention, for example, could allow a user to “subscribe to a particular Web feed, be provided with a user interface that contains distinct indicia to identify new feeds, and…efficiently consume or read RSS feeds using both an RSS reader and a Web browser.”

I’d like to know what effect this is going to have in Google Reader, Bloglines, Netvibes, PageFlakes, etc, etc and OF COURSE, podcast.com (which is nearing the end of a major overhaul with regards to feed reading and feed folder organisation – and ‘amplification’) !!! The whole podcast industry (yes, there is one) relies on this so-called invention.

The application was made in July 2005, so surely there’s plenty of prior art? I don’t get it?

Nick Bradbury, creator of FeedDemon apparently does not want to call Microsoft ‘evil’ just yet, but personally I feel like we just had a major shot across our bows. Friendly fire? I think not.

Is this just a way for lawyers to make money? I sometimes I think these departments just sit around working out ways to make eachother money while screwing consumers in the process. A little bit like a nation’s defence department working out ways to keep us on the brink of mass destruction in order to keep their budgets up and brass polished.

Foul!! Microsoft, I denounce thee!!

I just had an idea : Get every web developer in the world to write an RSS reader and post it up online. Let’s see how they deal with that. πŸ™‚

The Well-Formed Web?


With well formed data, there’s no reason why not. πŸ˜‰

Now, can we please work out the right way to *do* OPML please?

Basically:

If you want to point to a WEBSITE: use type=link and url=http://your.web.site.com

If you want to point to an RSS feed use type=rss and xmlUrl=htt://www.your.rss.feed.com/rss.xml

If you want to point to MORE OPML use type=include and url=http://www.you.opml.file.com/hoopla.opml

OK. So, you could argue that there might be better ways of doing/specifying it.
And what about htmlUrl, opmlUrl, atomUrl, foafUrl, rdfUrl, type=rdf, type=atom, type=application/pdf or whatever… I don’t know. Just DOCUMENT how you do it.

But what I do know is the sooner we agree and what is the right way to ‘do it’ – the better. πŸ˜€

IMHO.

Hey! Is my OPML Icon out of date?? :p

3D News with RSS

For Vista, when it comes out, here’s an app/widget from Microsoft called UniveRSS.

UniveRSS is a showcase application that demonstrates the use of several WPF features, 3D animations, data binding, and data visualization. Currently UniveRSS uses the RSS Feed Store managed through Internet Explorer 7. Later versions will allow you to manage the Feed Store from within the UniveRSS application.

It looks very nice and very much the type of thing I envisage in Second Life, when (and if) we get html on a prim surface. With all the available data bindings and communications we have at our disposal there, it should be faily easy to build this in the Metaverse.

Thanks to Dave Winer for the link.

An A-Z of Podcasts

If you head on over to index.podcast.com , you will find a browsable A to Z index of all the podcasts in the podcast.com system.

Soon, you’ll be able to easily add feeds from this or the search (or anywhere!) to your own podcast directory and share the shows you like to listen to and organise them into feed folders, all with lovely OPML for you to build nice widgets out of πŸ˜‰ – and we will to!

Nokia N91 as a mobile podcatcher

Recently, I have been playing with the Nokia N91 – with Wifi built-in and a 4gb hard disk on board too – to test some podcast stuff I have been building. I have to say I really like it – especially as they let me plug standard headphones into the jack.

They have a neat little podcasting application on there by default, which makes it very easy to enter an OPML file url (or locally open one from the handset) for a podcast directory, or an RSS for a direct podcast subscription. I’ll do a full report on this soon.

But one very odd thing I found is that while the handset has no problems whatsoever in playing an AAC+ (.m4a) file which I copied over on the device, when I try to subscribe it to an RSS feed with .m4a audio enclosures ( audio/x-m4a ) the application tells me that the device will not play this format.

Ermm…hello??

Also, a quick note to say that this app is apparently called ‘mPodder‘ in the apps folder of the device. Hmmmm…

Official Second Life blog picks up RSS NewsScreens and blogHUD!

So, there I was last night,hanging around on the ‘RSS Platform’ in Nooribeom, watching the fearsome news of the ‘Real World’ fly by, when none other than Hamlet Au, the ’embedded journalist’ in Second Life (though not at Linden Lab any more) on New World Notes dropped by to check out the BBC NewsScreens I set up here. There’s a CNN one nearby too, by the way – next to the ‘River of News’ πŸ™‚ The screens read a list of feeds and loop through them, 10 stories at a time.
The good thing about the BBC News ones are the feed content has specific limits in the text entries. I happen to know that this is due to the journalists having to write stories which can run across many platforms. They have strict limits to the amount of characters for the headline and description text. This increases their value. On platforms with different text and size/resolution constraints, Flash is excellent at dealing with this, as you can embed fonts and that it is a ‘vector-based’ format, meaning you can stretch it any way you like and you will not lose resolution. At any size, if you do it right.

Second Life and the LSL scripting language presents many opportunities for an old skool web hack createc like myself. I frequently tell people that SL makes me feel as excited as I did when I first saw the web over 10 years ago. πŸ˜‰ And no, it wasn’t for all the adult content (though be aware that most technology developed for the adult industry ends up revolutionising the mainstream in some way) it was for the ability to communicate with other people all around the world. Connect them. Network with them. And even meet them sometimes. (I’m still great friends with a couple in New Jersey who were the first people I met through the internet 12 years ago, through a mutual appreciation of the band ‘The Stone Roses‘. I met my partner online too. 8 years ago!)

With easy tools to publish content, media, whatever you want to call it, along with easy ways do consume, organise, filter and rate it it, there you have it. Bingo moment. Democratisation of media. Open mashable consumption by an constantly evolving , iterative audience.

I heart feeds. πŸ˜‰ Thanks Dave.

Want to build an ‘OPML Tree’?

Explaining RSS the Oprah way

Just spotted this great post about explaining RSS to your mum, dad, etc πŸ˜‰

Good stuff!


Who is this ‘kosso’ anyway?

I am a 'Createc'. A creative technologist, entrepreneur/ hacker/ geek. Worked on building things on the web for over 12 years.

Used to work at BBC News interactive and created the publishing and delivery systems for video news to get distributed on huge screens in major railway stations around the country.

I left the BBC to become CTO / sole-lead architect/developer at podcast.com for three years.

I have now left them to build a start up a new system called 'Phreadz', which is a 'Social Multimedia Conversation Network', integrating everything that is 'V.I.T.A.L' to us on the web. Video, Images, Text, Audio and Links.

I built the whole thing my myself. I programmed every line of code and positioned every pixel. I'm looking forward to attracting an hiring new members of the team to help me out! :)

There are currently over 1000 happy and helpful beta testers on the system so far and one client of a white-labelled solution.



@kosso : twitter

kosso's flickr stream

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