Day: October 16, 2002

  • Dane Carlson:

    No more tears: “Onions that taste as good as the original but do not have you weeping over the chopping board are now a possibility, say Japanese researchers.”

    I saw this fly by the LED display at the MVA (Maryland’s equivalent of a Department of Motor Vehicles).  It was one of the few items that scrolled across in newsticker fashion that didn’t involve fatalaties.

  • John Robb:

    I really actually like Wired’s new redesign.  My only problem is that for some reason it takes 40-80 seconds to load.  Apparently, nobody else is getting this problem.  Any ideas?

    I love the redesign!  It feels like a weblog.

  • FeedParser:

    feedParser was created due to the lack of a good, flexable, classed based RSS feed parser for PHP. It has been built as a class and currently handles RSS 0.91, RSS 0.92, RSS 0.93, RSS 1.0, and RSS 2.0 feeds. For channels it grabs the title, description, link, and creator. For items it grabs the title, description, link, and date. It also provides a form of the date converted into the local timezone to facilitate cronological sorting of items. The dates are provided in UNIX timestamp format for easy manipulation by other PHP functions.

    It requires xmlParser:

    xmlParser was created due to the lack of a good, namespace aware XML parser for PHP. It is written as a PHP class. It functions as it is, however, many more features are planned. This class is still in the development phase. As it functions now, it will accept XML data as a string and present it as a struct.

    Both programs are GPL and look like they could form the basis of some advanced projects in a shared hosting environment.  Props go out to Reverand Jim, the author of the two projects.  His weblog is here, his livejournal is here, RSS 1.0 feed is here, while his RSS 0.91/2.0 feed is over there.  Oh yeah, and RSS subscribed.

  • Werner Vogels and his CS students at Cornell are working on a project that could change the way that people collect, report, and view news.  Here’s a snippet from the abstract/intro:

    The NewsWire project is to deliver a peer-to-peer system for collaborative real-time delivery of news items through a publish/subscribe interface. The systems is build using the Mariner system from the Astrolabe tool suite, a versatile tool for ultra-scalable and secure distributed state management. Astrolabe uses epidemic techniques and information aggregation to achieve the scalability and robustness needed.

    It caught my eye at first because it sounds similar to NetNewsWire, but the project has a very high cool factor on its own.  Here’s another snippet I like:

    Our premise is that current push solutions fail to take advantage of the collaborative power of the Internet. The solutions are often proprietary, and employ a one-to-many model where the producer is expected to deliver “personalized” content directly to each of the consumers. The approach clearly has scalability limitations. Yet despite these problems, there has been little activity by publishers of the many real-time news sites to provide a coordinated solution for this problem. We believe that the time has come for an Internet-wide infrastructure for efficient real-time content delivery.

    I have subscribed to Werner Vogels’ RSS feed to keep up with the project and the other stuff that he’s working on/thinking about.  I think I originally found a link to his blog from Peter Drayton.