Archive for January, 2004

some thoughts on My Yahoo RSS Headlines Beta

some thoughts on My Yahoo RSS Headlines Beta

Congrats to everyone at My Yahoo — this means big things for Yahoo and the Web. I have a scattering of accolades, criticisms, tips, and next step suggestions.

The module is very useable, particularly with the great faq’s and surprisingly good (still with room for improvement) RSS feed search. Technically, the back end must be solid for this to go beta — we’ll see how it scales. Nice touches with OPML import (though no play friendly OPML export), and update API.

One thing that current RSS users will immediately jump on is the 25 feed limit — however the real limit is 150, as I’ll show, which should satisfy most human beings. You can add the module to any page at Each page has its own list of feeds and you can add up to 6 pages to My Yahoo. Users will quickly want a single page to manage all their feeds.

This is the presentation that inspired myRadio. More presentation options are needed in the module, particularly order by date and hiding read articles. However, both of these features would increase the computation load significantly.

When Yahoo Clubs merged with Yahoo Groups, My Yahoo lost a great module. Though, RSS Headlines provides a stop gap — just add the RSS feed for your Yahoo Groups subscriptions. One problem is that Yahoo Groups produces RSS is reverse order, so you’ll see the oldest messages first. Maybe with this new architecture in place for RSS, it will be easy to resurrect the Groups module.

Companion is calling out for integration. It could display a Subscribe To icon when it autodiscovers RSS feeds during browsing.

Wonder why this rdf feed doesn’t work for the module? Wonder if they’ll support Atom, and blogger? Would that require a name change for the module?

Many users are moving from a browser-centered world. Will My Yahoo grab this next opportunity with more haste? My Yahoo has lots of great content – quotes, weather, sports, movie listings, ski reports, tv – that would make great RSS feeds. There is a business model, as part of a Premium Package or in feed advertisements.

But whatever I ramble, it’s a great great thing to see RSS in My!


Projects for Artificial Life and Animal and Machine Intelligence

Projects for Artificial Life, and Animal and Machine Intelligence

My project for the fall ALife course is Evolution of Industrial Melanism: A Spatial, Predator-Prey Genetic Algorithm. This report details a simulation of the famous Peppered Moth, with some twists from classic models. In particular, there are some unexpected relationships between space/movement, fitness, and population growth.

For Animal and Machine Intelligence, I researched Evolution of Natural and Artificial Swarms. There’s a lot of room to apply Evolutionary Techniques to studies of social insects and social insect inspired algorithms.


Earthquake RSS feeds from the USGS

Earthquake RSS from the USGS

Scott Haefner has put together RSS feeds of Recent World Earthquake Activity, direct from the USGS.

The feed uses the same format for specifying lat/lon and quake magnitude as the scraped feed for the worldKit quake map, so I’ve switched over to use the USGS RSS directly.

We’ve come such a way .. maybe you remember finger’ing for earthquake info.



get your war on says FUCK NASA with such style


Stories from Distant Lands

Stories from Distant Lands

A few news items getting press here in the UK and throughout the world, but absent in the US media.

Global Warming ‘biggest threat’
Eminent British scientist calls on the US to lead efforts against Climate Change. We aim to find life and bring life to Mars, while we can’t even save it here.

By 2050 Warming to Doom Million Species, Study Says
Large collaborative field and model study concludes that one million species are to go extinct. Huge historic mass extinction greeted by humanity with collective shrug.

End of line for mail trains
Some UK mail has been sorted in transit, on trains running through the night. So long to Super Clever Industrial Age Information Processing


My Yahoo 2 RSS Update: Argument Encryption

My Yahoo 2 RSS Update: Argument Encryption

Small security update for My Yahoo 2 RSS. The arguments in the RSS feed, including the yahoo login and password, are now encrypted. If you are subscribed, you’ve probably already seen this. Make sure you resubscribe to the new urls.

Comments, please get a grip, please get a grip

It was obvious the Bush Hitler videos were total paranoid bad taste (despite the still chilling parallel of attacks on civil liberties by appeal to Father/Home-Land)
and really an opportunity for Conservative Forces. Now,’s repsonse is a deep disappointment to someone like me, who had been charmed by their methods so far.

Take a look at Bush in 30 Seconds and the URLs for the “15” finalists. They’re of the form, with X = 1 to 17, with 2 and 16 absent.

It looks like the two Hitler-Bush videos were selected as finalists, and now MoveOn is weakly excusing itself due to problems in its “Screening Process”. Congrats, you may have just blown the value of this entire campaign.