[FoRK] Re: GooNews, personalized & keyword-fed (!)

Benjamin C. Wiley Sittler bsittler at gmail.com
Thu Mar 10 21:21:25 PST 2005

Rohit Khare <khare at alumni.caltech.edu> wrote:

> Wow...
> http://news.google.com/news?ned=: 
> ePkh8BM9EyLSDiFBLX7vnNTMvNQihYDUouzMvGIhfi1e15y
> czOT8khIF58ySSiF2oDEgy0AMqK0QlwEAohMVOA
>  From GMSV, which even calls it the "Daily Me"
> > News just the way you (and our algorithm) want it: Newshounds will get  
> > a treat the next time they click over to Google News. The site has  
> > added a customization feature that lets you move elements around,  
> > change headline displays and even set up a new channel based on key  
> > words. Normally, I'm wary of personalized news. Being an editor, I'm  
> > naturally disposed to see the values of editing and the danger of an  
> > intellectually compartmentalized and self-reinforcing Daily Me model.  
> > And as much as I love Google News, it's still assembled by a machine.  
> > But that being the case, there's no reason why readers shouldn't be  
> > able to impose a bit of their own order on it.
> See also http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3488881
> New Customization, Personalization Features at Google News
>   By  Chris Sherman, Associate Editor
> March 10, 2005
> Google has enhanced its news service with a number of new features that  
> make it easy to modify your own version of the Google News page by  
> adding or deleting sources, and to share the customized page with  
> others.
>   The Google News home page is now customizable, allowing you to add or  
> delete main news categories (such as business, sports and so on), as  
> well as increasing or decreasing the number of headlines within a  
> section. You can also add sections from any of the 22 country-specific  
> versions of Google News to your own page.
> Google has also introduced a feature that lets you create your own  
> section on any topic that interests you. Simply define the section  
> using keywords for a topic that interests you, and a new section is  
> added to your version of the Google News home page.
>   As with the sections on the standard Google News page, clicking on the  
> link to a new section will open up a separate section page with many  
> more links to news stories related to that topic.
> You can now change the layout of the Google News page, either using the  
> controls found in a new light blue box in the upper right corner of the  
> page, or with a javascript widget that lets you drag and drop sections  
> into new locations. Don't like the result? You can always restore the  
> default standard Google news page, or view the text-only version of the  
> standard page by clicking links for those pages.
> All customization information is stored in a cookie, so there's no need  
> to register or log in to use the new features.
>   Another new feature allows you to share your customized news page with  
> others. Each customized news page has its own unique URL. Simply send  
> this URL to others, and they can use the page you've created as their  
> own personalized Google News page, or use it as a basis to make their  
> own modifications.
>   You can also use this URL to view your own customized page on a  
> computer other than the one where the cookie containing your settings  
> is stored.
> The new features are very cool, and make Google News a much more useful  
> service. However, you still need to visit Google News using your web  
> browser; there's no RSS option to allow you to view your customized  
> page in a news aggregator. Google has no plans to add an RSS option  
> either, according to Google product manager Marissa Mayer

So what do the 64 base64-encoded bytes after 'ned=:' mean? They
seem to encode a bitmap of some sort...

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