Hot News with HotSheet

Like many Internet users, I try to keep up with the latest technical

news. Normally, this involves checking a number of news sites every

day, such as LinuxToday.com, and scanning the headlines. Each of the

sites I visit are chock full of ads and content, which means these

sites take time to load. If none of the articles on a site interests

me, then I've wasted time I don't have accessing something I don't want.

Downloading headlines from the sites and then scanning them locally can

cut down on the time it takes to scan the news. A new application

called HotSheet, which is a news industry term that refers to a list of

important breaking news, presents news headlines from major news sites

on your desktop. HotSheet presents a scrolled list of article headlines

in a simple GUI interface. Select a headline and HotSheet launches your

Web browser to view the article from the news site.

HotSheet uses an XML standard called Rich Site Summary (RSS) to parse

the headline summaries from many sites. The default user interface

includes sites such as BetaNews.com, PDABuzz.com, xmlhack.com, and

Freshmeat.net but many Web sites, including the ever important

Slashdot.org and LinuxToday.com, export summaries of their articles.

Automated tools such as HotSheet can then download these summaries and

present them to you.

Download HotSheet from http://www.johnmunsch.com/projects/HotSheet.

HotSheet is written in Java, so it runs on Linux, Windows, Mac OS, and

many other systems. In addition, HotSheet uses the still relatively new

Java WebStart technology. You just click on the launch link on the

HotSheet Web site and the application automatically downloads and

installs itself on your site. Each time you launch the application, it

checks the HotSheet Web site for updates and then only downloads a new

copy if needed.

If you have never run a Java WebStart program before, it provides a

neat way to distribute application updates, so long as you have

installed Java WebStart itself on your system.

Insider: How the basic tech behind the Internet works
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