I have built a Yahoo! pipe to aggregate pictures about #Japan coming in through Twitter. These are tweets that use Plixi, twitpic or yfrog. You can subscribe to the feed here: JapanPix RSS Feed
Recently I came across a site called Conecti.ca. It is a technology news site from Mexico and is, naturally, in Spanish. I can read some Spanish but not enough to read Conectica very well.
Fortunately Conecti.ca provides an RSS feed so I was able to wrangle the magic of RSS and Yahoo! Pipes together to produce a feed translated to English. Sure this is machine translation so it isn’t always accurate but it gets you dangerously close. A heck of a lot closer than not translating at all.
Here is the feed if you want to subscribe:
The Pipe also directs the article links through Bing’s translation engine. This way you get a taste of the article through the RSS feed then can see the original and translation side by side when you click the links. I was going to route through Google Translate but Bing worked better and I like the side-by-side results.
It’s SxSW time again! That time of year a bunch of people gather in Austin, TX for a few days immersion into the new and the next. From SXSW.COM:
The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conferences & Festivals offer the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW® is the premier destination for discovery.
In 2007, SXSW was where Twitter really started taking off. Since then, Twitter is the place most of the attendees post links to the cool stuff they are seeing and doing. Whether you are attending or not, you don’t want to miss out on the cool stuff. I’ve built a Yahoo Pipe that will deliver to you, via RSS, those Tweets that contain links. I’ve done what I can to filter ReTweets and things like Four Square check-ins.
Here is a link to the feed so you can subscribe in Google Reader (or your favorite feed reader): sxsw-links-rss
Share and enjoy.
Update 12MAR2010: Now with thumbnails of links to Tweetphoto, Twitpic and Yfrog
I tend to pick a static image for my Windows Desktop. One of the main reasons for this is that I can never decide on which one I like the best. Now, with Windows 7, you can have background images pulled in via RSS. With some Yahoo Pipes magic I have built a feed to pull in Flickr photos that are tagged ‘landscape’. This works great…mostly. The process works but you are at the mercy of people tagging their photos correctly. Sometimes you get an image that isn’t all that exciting such as someone’s aunt Ethel sitting on a rock in Yosemite. Fortunately, it isn’t hard to delete these images.
Unzip the file and double-click on the file named “Flickr Landscapes.themepack”. When the dialog box pops up, click “download attachments.”
You Windows theme is now my Flickr Landscape theme. If that is all you do, the desktop will start off black and images will start to be pulled in within a few minutes. The theme is set to rotate images every 30 minutes. With new content coming in all the time, I like the frequent rotation.
By default, the feed will pull in every image it finds and keep them. I like to limit this to the most recent 25 images and make sure they download once a day. Because it is RSS, these settings are managed through Internet Explorer. Start Internet Explorer and click Tools – Explorer Bars – Feeds (ctrl+shift+j).
When the Feeds panel opens, you should see my Yahoo Pipes feed. There may be other feeds if you use Internet Explore for other RSS feeds. Right-click on my Pipes feed and select Properties.
That’s it. Now, every half hour you should get a nice new landscape photo from Flickr. Most are pretty cool but lets face it, not everyone who uploads to Flickr is a master photographer. With these settings, the images will just rotate out eventually but sometimes they are so annoying you just want to delete them. This is easy but carries a caveat.
To manage the photos in this theme, right click on your desktop and choose Personalize. When the control panel opens up, click Desktop Background. You’ll see a box with all of the photos in it. Select the offending photo and press delete. Confirm you want to delete the photo by clicking Yes on the dialog that opens. Now for the important part: before you close this dialog box, select all the photos. This step keeps them in rotation.
This is one of my favorite features in Windows 7. Let me know if you try it out and how it is working for you.
Baja California has been shaking lately. Especially in the area just south of Mexicali. I’ve built a little map to keep tabs on the area. The information comes from USGS via RSS through Yahoo Pipes. So, if a quake is felt, it will be a little delayed here on the map due to the nature of path to get here. Given that, the map should contain the most recent information on quakes 2.5 magnitude and above.
I was thinking last night that it might be interesting to take your Tweets and put them on a calendar. Kind of a life stream with calendar integration. I do crazy stuff like this because it helps me learn.
I figured since Twitter outputs to RSS I could take that and morph it into an iCal feed. As it turns out, this isn’t that hard with Yahoo! Pipes. However, it isn’t really doesn’t work all that well. The problem is that Yahoo Pipes only polls the RSS every 30 minutes or so. So if you tweet a lot things will get missed. Also, it will only hold the last 20 tweets at the time of polling. And then there is the calendar the polls iCal. I have no idea how often that happens.
So, this is just a proof of concept kind of thing. I thought since I got this bit figured out I’d release it and see if anyone else comes up with something better.
Here is how it works:
- Go to: http://pipes.yahoo.com/techlifeweb/twitterical
- Enter your twitter name (public accounts only, sorry) in the box provided and click Run Pipe
- When the results com back, click More options and right click on Get as iCal then click “Copy Link Location” in your browser.
You now have the link to the iCal version of your Tweet. How you set this up in your calendar varies on calendar application. Here, we’ll use Google calendar.
- Open your Google Calendar
- In the lower left click ‘add’
- and then ‘Add by URL’
- When the dialog box pops up, past in the iCal URL you copied in the steps above and click Add Calendar.
It will take a few seconds to a minute and they you will see your last 20 tweets in your calendar. You can change the colors if you want.
So, developers out there, if you do something cool with this, please let me know.
One cool thing about Twitter is that it automatically creates an RSS feed of your tweets. Sometimes these can be useful to put in other places that take RSS like FriendFeed or elsewhere. However, this can be a bit ‘noisy’ especially to none Twitter users who aren’t used to self-filtering.
One of the conventions that Twitter users have adopted is the notion of hashtags. Hashtags are words with the “#” symbol in front of them. Fore example, at a conference such as Bar Camp San Diego people might put #barcampsd in their twitter post. Sometimes people get a bit carried away with them but that is a topic for another time.
These two things, RSS from Twitter and the uniqueness of hashtags, let me create this great Yahoo! Pipe. With it, you can generate an RSS feed of only your tweets containing a certain hashtag. You can then use that feed in your other applications.
Have a look at my new Yahoo Pipe. It will give you and example of how to use it.
Simply enter the hashtag you want to filter on and your twitter name and then click Run Pipe. After the pipe runs you can click on the Get as RSS button to get your new filtered Twitter Feed.
RSS is not dead. It is the glue that holds the web together.
One of my favorite sites for buying hardware, software and other tech related goodies is Newegg.com. Sometimes, especially for big ticket items, you want to be sure to catch a deal when it comes up. With a feed from Newegg and a little tinkering with Yahoo! Pipes I was able to create my Newegg Deals Filter.
All you do is enter the item you are searching for, sdram in this example, and then click run pipe. There may not be results right now if there are none of your items in the current list of deals. But the best thing is, you can subscribe to the results and be notified anytime in the future when your item appears on the list. I like subscribing to the Results by Email so I don’t miss deals on things I am really interested in buying.
Try it out.
I really like the GIllmor Gang podcast. There are often audio issues and it can travel down many paths but there is brilliance in there that keeps me listening. Keeps me up to date on current tech topics beyond consumer level. Steve Gillmor also does a daily News Gang podcast which is similar in style to the Gillmor Gang and I like it as well.
The problem for me is that they are both included in the same feed. My podcatcher separates things into folders which I really like and have grown accustomed to listening that way. So I built two Yahoo! Pipes to separate the feed into two. One is called News Gang Only and the other is Gillmor Gang Only. The added benefit here is that my folders sort alphabetically so Gillmor Gang is now under ‘G’ instead of ‘T’ for The Gillmor Gang.
If you want to see the Pipes:
One of my favorite things on Twitter is when people post links to sites that they have created or have some interest in. Many of these happen when you aren’t looking or go by too fast to catch. One big example, since I live on the west coast, are the east coasters scanning news when they get up and post links. Those I’d never catch because of the time difference.
So I decided to do something about it. Thanks to Twitter offering up my feed via RSS and Yahoo! offering their wonderful Pipes tool I was able to build a filter and subscribe to a feed that gives me only ‘tweets’ with links in them. If you have a Twitter account you can use it too. Go to
http://pipes.yahoo.com/techlifeweb/twitterlinkmonitor and enter your Twitter user name in the field provided then click Run Pipe.
Now, here is the tricky part, when you get your results you want to subscribe via email. Why? Because your twitter timeline goes by fast. Each time your RSS reader polls for links it only gets the most recent ones from Twitter. So if you want to monitor feeds overnight then you either have to leave your RSS reader open and actively polling over night or you can simply subscribe via email and then build a filter in your email program (if you don’t want all these things filling you inbox). Gmail’s threading pulls them all together so I haven’t yet built a filter.
Note: If you don’t have a Yahoo! account or don’t want to create one, you can grab the RSS from the link provided after you run the Pipe and then go to http://sendmerss.com/ and use their service to subscribe via email.