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.
I built this map using Yahoo! Pipes. Information comes form Memorandum (political meme tracker) and Vote08 (twitter news tracker). Uses the geonames.org RSS-to-geoRSS webservice to add location information to newsfeeds then the result is displayed using the Yahoo!Maps AJAX API (thanks to Pipes Location Extractor).
CNN has a nice map for monitoring returns.
According to news just in from BreakingNewsOn:
Microsoft Corp. has sent a letter to the Yahoo Board of Directors setting a three-week deadline for moving forward on its buyout offer.
Microsoft CEO: If no agreement within 3 weeks, we will take our case directly to shareholders, elect new directors for the Yahoo! board.
One of my favorite features of Google Calendar is the ability to overlay other calendars on top of mine. Through the magic of the iCal standard there are lots of public calendars available that you can easily add to your Google Calendar.
If you are into follow a sport of any kind you can find your team’s calendar on Yahoo! Sports. This includes both college and professional teams. It is easy to add these calendars to Google Calendar once you track them down.
Here is how to get started
Note added 12AUG2012: It seems Yahoo has hidden these calendar feeds. They still work but I couldn’t find them. However, I did figure out the syntax. I’ve added a screen shot at the end of these instructions to help you find the feeds for you team.
Go to Yahoo! Sports
In this example I’m going to use Major League Baseball
Under TEAMS, find your team
Click Scores and Schedule
On the right-hand side of the screen you will see:
Right-click on iCal select Copy Link Location (Copy shortcut in Internet Explorer)
Click the drop-down arrow next to Add
Click Add by URL
Paste into the box the link you copied form Yahoo! Sports
Click the Add button
If you want, since this is a public calendar, you can select ‘Allow others to find this public calendar via Google Calendar search?’ so that other people can just search for the calendar.
Now your favorite team’s schedule will be an overlay in your Google calendar. The additional beauty is you get the game times in your current time zone. Great for when your team travels and you want to watch the game at home. Also, once the game has passed, Yahoo! updates the calendar entry with the score of the game so you can find out just by checking the details of the calendar entry.
Yahoo! is good about keeping the calendar updated. I added the San Diego Padres calendar long before Spring training started and never really saw anything happen. Then as the team released its calendar the overlay updated and all the dates filled in.
If you have a few of these you can click the button to the right of the calendar entry and customize the colors so they are easier to read. If things get really cluttered, you can uncheck the calendar and it will be removed from the overlay so you can see just your schedule.
12AUG2012 update: As mentioned above, it appears Yahoo is hiding these from public view these days. Here is how to build your own link.
- Go to http://sports.yahoo.com
- Click on MLB
- Then click on your favorite team
- In your address bar is the base URL for your webcal.
- Copy the address into a text editor and then change http to webcal and add an /ical.ics at the end (see screen shot)
- Follow the instructions above with your new ical address
- Here are 2 examples:
- MLB: San Diego Padres: webcal://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/teams/sdg/ical.ics
- NFL: Seattle Seahawks: webcal://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/sea/ical.ics
- For other sports you’ll have to experiment