Scripting News for 4/15/2007

Progress on FlickrRivr 

I’ve made a lot of progress in the last 24 hours on the packaging of FlickrRivr.

To summarize, it’s a desktop application that subscribes to one or more feeds from Flickr, and deposits them in a folder of your choosing. Then you can configure iTunes to synch from that folder to AppleTV, so you can see pictures of your Flickr friends automatically updated on the screen of your TV. You can of course also configure your Mac’s screen saver to run off this folder, for the same effect on your laptop or desktop computer.

I’ve got the configuration part working now, before I had the aggregator working and it’s been running on my home entertainment center for over a year. People find it fascinating. Me too.

Now I’ve hit some stumbling blocks, no deal-stoppers, but I thought maybe I could open this up so that people who read the site can help search for what I’m hoping to find.

Yahoo has lots of RSS feeds, and they even have feeds with news photos. Very cool, except the photos are low resolution, too low to be good for this application. Seems a shame, because in between pictures of Irina and Valerie, Scoble and Justin, and everyone’s cats and grandparents, it would also be great to mix in pictures of Gonzalez and Imus, Sharpton and McCain. A bit of Edwards and Clinton wouldn’t hurt. Obama and Blitzer. Cheney. Ahmadinajad. The Dear Leader. The Great Wall of China. Tony Soprano.

And the feeds don’t have to be from Yahoo. If you know of other sources of news photos in RSS, I can use more examples, more stuff to preconfigure FlickrRivr. If bandwidth is an issue, I don’t mind mirroring the feeds and photos on my server. I don’t think there will be so many users as to make bandwidth a serious issue.

Anyway, if you have any ideas, please let me know.

PS: I know this is realllly low-tech. All of the good stuff is. But I’d be willing to bet this is as big as blogging or podcasting. A major application for our networks. It’s that compelling.

PPS: The guy on the left in the cowboy hat is my maternal grandfather, Rudy Kiesler. Here’s the full picture.

Bad Hair Day 

Note: I’m looking for the chatroom. If anyone has an idea, please post a note over in the comments.

I was able to create the chatroom over on Ustream. Come join the conversation everybody!

Bug report 

Imus is off the air, Gonzales is still the Attorney General.

Imus is an entertainer, Gonzales is the top law enforcement officer in the US.

Did Gonzales fire the US Attorneys, or was he ignorant as he says he was? And what do you think, were they fired because they were getting too close to Republicans?

President Bush said there’s “no credible evidence of wrongdoing.” So what’s he actually saying? Gonzales may have been doing wrong, and there may even be evidence of it, but the President doesn’t think it’s credible. Wow, that’s the standard of integrity we want for our highest law enforcement official. (Sorry for the sarcasm.)

And what about the millions of missing emails? Bug or feature? 🙂

Today’s links 

Doc Searls wants to bring local public radio to Santa Barbara. With his background in radio, Berkman connections, and sheer enthusiasm, I bet he pulls it off.

11 responses to this post.

  1. New information linking Bush to the firing of U.S. Attorney David Iglesias.
    Josh Marshall points to a Mike Gallagher article in this morning’s Albuquerque Journal that indicates Bush personally okayed the firing of U.S. Attorney David Iglesias. (source is vague, but it seems to include someone inside Senator Domenici’s office.)


  2. Dave – here’s an idea for FlickrRivr – if one could get a ‘tag feed’ from a news source (a list of tags that are being used in current news stories), then one could use the Flickr API to pull in larger pictures based on the tags in the news.

    I’m looking in to ways of doing this, with the intention of having a Flickr style RSS feed out at the other end.


  3. Dave – a slightly off-topic question about Frontier/Radio/OPML Editor:

    Can a third dimension be added to the core outlining/table engine?

    That is, imagine an outline/table that records the process of creating a book. (And forgive me I’m totally misunderstanding Frontier here — I’m really a native of Ecco, of blessed memory, and only did a little Frontier hacking when I was using Radio for my blog.)

    So, an outline might look like:
    Read MSS
    Reply to author
    Send to lawyer
    Send to author
    Send signing check

    And for each item, I would want to have a date, a person assigned the task, and other various columns.

    So far I’m ok in Ecco and, I gather in Frontier. I can even do this (sans outlining) in Excel.

    Here’s the third dimension: I’d like an outline like this for every book. I want to create a new book, and it replicates the outline. BUT… I would like to still be able to change the original outline, and have the changes affect each book’s outline. So if, for example, I decide that I should have a lawyer review the book before deciding to acquire it, I can insert that stage in the master outline, and it would change all the others.

    So where Frontier is a 2D app (really, 2.5, since the outlining component is a fractional dimension more complicated than a standard spreadsheet or SQL table), I’m dreaming of a 3D app.

    Does Frontier have that power? And if not, does any app out there?

    Thank you!


  4. (Oops! WordPress swallowed the indents in the “outline” above.)


  5. Posted by kentompkins on April 15, 2007 at 11:21 am

    Some unbelievable photos here with feeds:

    ken tompkins


  6. Seems like I remember hearing that AP used an RSS photo extension to deliver pictures as enclosures, but just to their members. Sorry, on a quick search I can’t find it now. Maybe somebody else remembers more about it or what it’s called.


  7. Dave, go to Broadcast -> Bad Hair Day -> Room tab. I think those are the settings to configure it?


  8. You might wanna add these reflections into your FlickrRivr too…



  9. Hi Dave,

    I havent managed to set up a RSS feed for the images submitted to just yet but if this is something you’d like to see working with FlickrRivr I can bump it up the list of priorities. Any suggestions of what specific kinds of feeds you’d like would be good too.

    Let me know and I’ll see what I can do.


  10. Posted by Wade on April 15, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    Hi Dave,

    I think your object is being a slightly bad citizen: It keeps wanting to set a cookie. This isn’t an attempt each time I load the page (your twitter object already does that), this is every 5 seconds or so whilst the page is up. It is coming from

    I’m not going to go on about why I don’t like that cookie: I’m just letting you know that it’s being a bit too persistent. I think you should know.



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