Tag Archives: news-aggregator

The Best Free Desktop News Ticker

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

I don’t really watch the news anymore, unless someone sends me a clip of something. I snack on news headlines, and dive deeper into whatever interests me. I like to just get a taste of what’s going on. I don’t know how you digest your news. One suggestion is to use a news aggregator. I also have another suggestion to make, potentially something that can augment your ability to digest the news as it comes in through RSS feeds.

This solution is cross-platform, and runs on Adobe Air. Snackr is an RSS ticker that pulls random items from your feeds and scrolls them across your desktop. When you see a title that looks interesting, you can click on it to pop up the item in a window. Currently it checks all feeds on startup, and after that it waits at least 45 minutes between checks of a given feed. This way, you aren’t overwhelmed with items every couple of minutes! You have time to snack on them in between having new ones brought to you.

Snackr sits on any edge of your screen (top, bottom or sides). It scrolls the latest headlines across your screen, much like any news or stock ticker. It tells you how long ago they were published, and where. It also comes with a default set of feeds. You can, however, easily configure it. Remove ones that are there you may not want, and add whatever it is you DO want.

The exciting part is watching the headlines as they scroll by. It only takes a moment to do, and you can then dive deeper into anything you may need or want to know more about. It’s easy, and it’s free! Add to that how configurable it is, and you have something excellent to add to your desktop – and your day!

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The Blame Game

Okay, bLaugh is up and running – including a great gag on the Friendster patent today. I’ve been using FeedBurner to manage the feed, which has (for the most part) been a good experience. To make bLaugh fully PSP compatible, I had to create enclosures for the comic images – which can only be done with a direct hyperlink to the image itself. In doing so, some of my non-Friendster friends are telling me that two images are showing up in each bLaugh feed item. The reasons are simple: (a) the news aggregator is ignoring the HTML I’ve set to hide the image link from plain view; (b) the news aggregator is rendering the enclosure inline for your convenience, as well as the image that’s pulling in directly via the IMG tag. So is anybody really to blame here? Wish I knew. FeedBurner has allowed me to infuse the Flickr images tagged “bLaugh” with my regular ol’ blog feed – allowing my tens of thousands of subscribers to get the day’s gag without having to subscribe to the separate bLaugh feed. Still, others are saying that my feed in Bloglines is giving them fits. Argh! Can I just blame the dog?!