26 Jun 2002 trs80   » (Apprentice)


In any medium, there are always things which interested you more than others. For example, in IRC and on Usenet, I value what certain people more highly than others. I read websites that cover topics that interest me. And if someone's writing about me, I'd like to know. So, I would like something (a progam? an agent?) that captures and sorts all these things according to how interested I am in them. This sort of thing already exists to some extent - score/killfiles in newsreaders, highlighting someone's nick when they say mine in xchat.

In Earth by David Brin this sort of software is ubiquitous (and in fact required for citizenship - but I digress). The current state of the art is XML or RSS (and RDF? - it's all acronym soup to me) feeds. I don't use them for several reasons: poor microcontent, lack of scoring, and it's just easier for me to visit all the sites I read in a gazillion mozilla tabs (a fast net connection at home and uni helps here).

Added later - I just tried News is Free but it was rather kludgy, and didn't easily support adding random newsfeeds.

However, I'd like something that extended beyond just weblogs and news sites, to usenet, IRC, email, IM, whatever. You'd probably end up with a whole bunch of rules (using some intelligent pattern-matching system) that specify what you're interested in (and what you're not - no more boring discussions about transformers on IRC). You could then share these with someone - "So you want to know what's happening in $FIELD_OF_ENDEAVOUR? Here, try my ruleset for it". SpamAssassin sort of works like this, except it's only for spam blocking. Getting the interface right would be an interesting problem, as well as specifying new rules (definitely not regexps - oh the pain! the tentacles!)

linux.conf.au 2003:

We got the domain redelegated, so http://linux.conf.au works. Reminder: submit your paper(s) to the linux.conf.au Call for Papers, which is closing in a fortnight.

Have been updating Apache and OpenSSH on various machines. I noticed that gnome.org is still running 1.3.22 when I 404ed. Does anyone know what ChallengeResponseAuthentication and/or s/key over ssh actually is?

A few quick notes on cool software:

  • w3m supports mousewheel scrolling (as well as images) in xterms
  • PuTTY 0.52 supports mouse events like xterms

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