Friday, April 29, 2005

A note about RSS

RSS - Really Simple Syndication

I love my daily newspaper, web sources for news, and mountains of magazines, but there's too much information to keep up with. We have to filter through "everything" to get to just the news and information we want. So, along comes RSS - "Really Simple Syndication," as a method to distribute filtered news feed. Here's a primer on RSS and what it can do for your news-gathering and your needs as a writer:

Imagine a whole new style of news. One where the web prowls all the news sites and brings you just the areas that you're interested in.

With RSS feed, you can go to one web site and find fresh content from all the sites it scans for you. You determine the areas you want to monitor, such as health care, Social Security legislation, the population of Borneo, and you can be sure you won't miss any news on those topics.

Where does the news come from? Most web sites and blogs now have RSS feed. quotes a Pew Internet & American Life Project survey in November," five percent of Internet users use RSS. And you can count on that number to grow, as more sites add feeds."

If you're just starting out, try RSS with a web-based reader, the top reader today is, where you can sign up for free.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

E-mail worse than marijuana?

Feeling goofy?

CNN reports today that a British survey found people distracted by phone calls, email and text messaging suffer a greater loss of IQ that a person smoking marijuana.

In 80 clinical trials, Dr. Glenn Wilson, a psychiatrist at King's College London University, monitored the IQ of workers throughout the day.

He found the IQ of those who tried to juggle messages and work fell by 10 points -- the equivalent to missing a whole night's sleep and more than double the 4-point fall seen after smoking marijuana.

"This is a very real and widespread phenomenon," Wilson said. "We have found that this obsession with looking at messages, if unchecked, will damage a worker's performance by reducing their mental sharpness.

" Wilson said the IQ drop was even more significant in the men who took part in the tests.

"The research suggests that we are in danger of being caught up in a 24-hour 'always on' society," said David Smith of Hewlett Packard.

"This is more worrying when you consider the potential impairment on performance and concentration for workers, and the consequent impact on businesses."

Read the full story at: