We’ve become a world of 24-hour news readers and I am hooked. If I don’t get my up-to-the-second news fix I have to re-read an old story and change the dates. Nowadays, there’s no reason why anyone should miss out on a single earth-stopping event thanks to the number of newsreader applications collecting every who, what, why, when and where. I learnt those ‘w’s in journalism school, by the way. These are often posted using Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds which let you gather top stories from websites, blogs and podcasts and deliver the headlines onto your PC. My favourite is Google Reader; just set up an account, list the websites and blogs you want to stay alert of and the software will give you all the headlines every day. Clicking on these takes you to the source of the story. You can create lots of folders for different interests and share stories with friends. You can also get a mobile version now.
Another great news tracker is Mozilla’s Live Bookmarks software. Not only do you bookmark favourite websites; instead of checking them regularly to view updates, the latest changes are displayed as headlines in your bookmarks toolbar as you scroll over the title of each site. You can store many but you don’t get a preview of the stories which can prove a little annoying when a catchy title ends up being a rather more boring article.
As internet lovers I’m sure most of you expect more from your news than a simple article. NewsBliss sits on your desktop trawling the web for stories, pictures, images and even video. It streams YouTube, Flickr and Google News & Video direct to your desktop. And if you don’t have time to read the news, or more importantly have accessibility issues due to sight difficulties, NewsAloud will read every article you select. Delivered in a real human voice, it’s like having your own personal newsreader.
Finally for Mac users, if you’re unsure who to get your news from nowadays then let NetNewsWire gather up everything from thousands of websites so you can fish out the good bits and throwaway the rest. It’s similar to Apple Mail and there are plenty of options including automatically saving podcasts.