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Category Archives: RSS

How to Take Back Control of What You Read on the Internet

The Atlantic – “How to Take Back Control of What You Read on the Internet Social-media algorithms show us what they want us to see, not what we want to see. But there is an alternative. By Yair Rosenberg. “The social-media web is built on a lie. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter enticed countless users to join with the promise that they could see everything their friends or favorite celebrities posted in one convenient location. Over time, though, the sites were carefully calibrated to filter what users saw—regardless of their stated preferences—in order to manipulate their attention and keep them on the platform. Algorithmic timelines quietly replaced chronological ones, until our social-media feeds no longer took direction from us, but rather directed us where they wanted us to go. Lately, this deception has become more transparent. Last month, Elon Musk reportedly had his engineers alter Twitter’s algorithm so that it fed his own tweets to the platform’s users, whether they followed him or not. (Musk denies having done so.) This might seem to say more about Musk’s vanity than about social media in its entirety. But in his typically crass way, Musk was just making obvious what was always the case for his industry. Meta did the same when it launched Meta Verified, a subscription service that promised it would provide paying users with “increased visibility and reach.” These developments underscore a stark reality: As long as we rely on social-media sites to curate what we read, we allow them to control what we read, and their interests are not our interests. Fortunately, there already exists a long-standing alternative that provides users with what social media does not deliver: RSS…” For researchers who have employed #RSS for multidisciplinary research for decades, this is not news, but a good reminder that new applications are not necessarily better applications, and ownership and control over critical technology impacts the scope and validity of our work. We need to continue to be vigilant and exercise choice. See also beSpacific on Mastodon – Newsie Social – where I ‘toot’ daily on many issues including research and technology.

RSS government

GovFresh, Luke Fretwell – “Defaulting to an open protocol to syndicate government information makes public communications universally accessible. Every government website should have an RSS feed. This ensures there is an open, universal standard for syndicating government information. The problem – While it’s important that government shares information via distributed outlets – social media, email… Continue Reading

5 of the Best Solutions for Monitoring Website Changes

maketecheasier: “One of the quickest ways to check a website for new updates is to add the site to your favorite RSS reader and let the tool notify you of any new content. However, an RSS reader can only check for updates within the confines of RSS-formatted code. This limitation means RSS readers won’t work… Continue Reading

Chrome “Feed” is tantalizing, but it’s not the return of Google Reader

Ars Technica – It’s not that Google doesn’t like RSS, it just wants RSS to look like Google: “Does Google enjoy teasing and sometimes outright torturing some of its products’ most devoted fans? It can seem that way. Tucked away inside a recent bleeding-edge Chrome build is a “Following feed” that has some bloggers dreaming… Continue Reading

6 reasons to ditch Chrome and try Vivaldi, the enthusiast’s browser

PCWorld: “Download the Vivaldi browser. Right now. And in the few, painless seconds that downloading and setting up Vivaldi entails, let us convince you why doing so will enhance your browsing experience. Running a secondary browser is one of the easiest, most impactful decisions you can make on your computer. Why? Because you don’t actually… Continue Reading

What is RSS and How to Use it Effectively

A reminder to continue to reference this article by Pete Weiss, What is RSS and How to Use it Effectively. RSS has changed over the years, but remains a significant application for researchers. Per recent postings on the subject here on beSpacific: – An RSS feed listing all newly released books from your favorite… Continue Reading – An RSS feed listing all newly released books from your favorite authors

Likas Mathis – “ is a simple tool that allows you to specify a list of authors, and generates an RSS feed with each author’s most recently released book.  I made this because I don’t want a recommendation algorithm to tell me what to read, I just want to know when my favorite authors release… Continue Reading