Customize your Google News.

Doing the work I do requires me to scan news daily. Google News is making that very easy for me:

1) visit, Click on the link at the very top of the page called Customized News. Open the box in the right-hand column. Tweak the page layout to your liking. Create new sections based on keywords…such as GeoCaching, Video Gaming, Fundraising, Marketing…etc. Adjust layout of those new sections to taste. The new Google News page will contain those news stories.

2) Under the Top Stories Column on the left – click on News Alerts. Set up custom, keyword based, email news alerts. News stories that meet the keyword criteria will be emailed to you. You can also have them emailed to your cell phone if you have SMS capability.

Source: Google News
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O’Reilly Network: An Interview with Cory Doctorow

An Interview with Cory Doctorow by Richard Koman — Cory Doctorow fits the old adage: “Need something done? Ask a busy person.” The European Affairs Coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a co-editor of Boing Boing, and a renowned science fiction writer, Cory is also on tap to speak at O’Reilly’s upcoming Emerging Technology Conference. In this interview, Cory talks about his latest book and his work as a science fiction writer.

Source: O’Reilly Network Interview
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Interesting news on the PR front…

Association Magazine popped out these two little gems of wisdom relating to PR and the Inter-hype. Association Magazine: February – March 2005 – Website Myths: Fact & Fiction is a list (and everyone loves lists right) of common sense items people and organizations should take into consideration when using/building/considering a website. The second, article Virtual Pressrooms – The Media’s Window into Your World leads you briefly into the needs of the Press…what they want and how you can provide it with a virtual pressroom.

Curiously – neither article discusses weblogs…too bad, because they *are* the force in PR currently.

Source: Association Magazine
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Back in the Day…

Once upon a time, a long time ago (1995ish), I was the webmaster for ITV News in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Back then, one of our challenges was to try and attract viewers to this new medium – the Internet.

One way we found that worked, was to translate our news scripts to html, and include images from the stories. We also experimented with sound, but many people at that time didn’t have bandwidth or systems able to play the files.

Stumbling throught the Internet Archive – the Wayback Machine – I came across the first web news story we ever did, a fairly visual piece on the 1995 Millwoods Shopping Mall fire. A bit dated when compared to today’s CNN/Reuters stories, or the Blogosphere, but it was cutting edge for its time.
Source: Millwoods Shopping Mall Fire, ITV (Internet Archive)
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A New Home

Yep, Brat&Testy have a new home here on We’ve changed ISPs and that means that we’re losing the ability to host our own blogs on our own servers – hence we’re using blogger/blogspot.

What this means – I’ll be slowly porting over the old blog content, but the comments will be lost.

We’re not sure exactly when the cut-over will occur, so you can view the original blog at for a short time longer.

Local Edmonton Caches – sample export from GeoToad

Brilliant Brat has devised another cool scheme to display all the Caches within 50 miles of home base:

  1. set up GeoToad to build both, .html and .gpx files at a particular frequency. This is accomplished by calling GeoToad from a batch file with the native ms scheduler in Win2k.
  2. I’ve actually got two batch files, one for grabbing HTML, the other for GPX. I just add another line for each region (based on postal codes – also very cool) I want to update.
  3. also have the batch file copy the resulting files to my shared webserver space – enabling me to grab these files while away from the home computer.
  4. Load the resulting GPX file into GSAK. Then use GSAK to create a file for Mapsource. GSAK is great at managing all those waypoints you collect over time.

This is almost like magic 🙂 Gotta love technology.

[UPDATE] I just found this AWESOME overview of GeoToad.