Sometime in 2009, I began listening to a science podcast titled This Week in Virology, or TWiV for short. I thought it was pretty good and listened regularly up until sometime in 2016, when it seemed that most episodes were approaching two hours in duration. I listen to several podcasts when commuting to/from work, which takes up about 10 hours of my week, so I found it hard to justify two hours for one podcast, no matter how good.
Were the episodes really getting longer over time? Let’s find out using R.
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Since 2005, I have started almost every working day by using one Web application – an application that occupies a permanent browser tab on my work and home desktop machines. That application is Google Reader.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably aware that Google Reader will cease to exist from July 1 2013. Others have ranted, railed against the corporate machine and expressed their sadness. I thought I’d try to explain why, for this working scientist at least, RSS and feed readers are incredibly useful tools which I think should be valued highly.
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Google Scholar is a useful tool and now has a dedicated blog. The first post is dedicated to email alerts.
It’s unimaginable, in 2010, that an alert service would not provide an RSS feed, so I can only assume that this feature will appear “in due course”. In the meantime, a quick Google search for create rss feed from website lead me to 7 Tools To Make An RSS Feed Of Any Website. I quickly tested them all and I agree with the author of the article: Feed43 is the winner.
The process for creating a Google Scholar feed is a little complex. Here’s my first attempt.
Update: interesting FriendFeed thread, where people point out that (a) scraping Google Scholar is quite likely to fail and (b) this is not the same as an alert, since results are not ordered by date.
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Web application FeedJournal turns your RSS feed(s) of choice into a newspaper-formatted PDF.
A little clunky and buggy when I tried it out, but I eventually generated this PDF from a few of my Google shared items. I’m not keen on the way articles are headed “by neilfws” – I didn’t write any of them!
What use is it? Not much – perhaps a nice way to generate a PDF for the next edition of Bio::Blogs.
Via Google Operating System: a useful Greasemonkey script, Google Reader subscriber count. For any page with a feed, overlays a clickable count (click to subscribe) of GReader users subscribed to the feed.
Of course, people use services other than GReader for their feeds. Go on though, admit it – you still want to know how many subscribers you have :)