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 Coördin­at­or 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.