19 May 2008

Spectra Gadget for the News Junkies

Call it a residual effect of being out for work two days this last pay period with the ear infection, but I did some 'more than usual' amount of surfing out on the Web. I came across a lot of useless stuff to be certain (some of which was readable, some even enjoyable in its time-wasting way), but some of what I found was some damn cool stuff. At least to me, anyway.

So, as time allows and also as a way to keep myself more devoted to actually posting all of the little things I jot down somewhere and then forget to include here, I'll now be throwing in these 'gadget and misc item finds' from now on. I hope you enjoy and, more importantly, I hope you can use.

Our first nomination of a gadget is for my fellow news junkies, who perhaps want something more than a scroll of updated info on the bottom of your favourite news provider. This one comes from the fine folks over at MSNBC, who (like their parent company, NBC Universal/GE) have suddenly taken to providing more 'net and blog friendly' material to their viewers with a profound gusto. First, it was changing their policy to now allowing viewers and bloggers alike to imbed videos from their sites and/or programs, complete with code...something I was able to take full advantage of when posting recently with my "Saturday Night Live" and "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" video uplinks.

Now, there is Spectra: a visual newsreader (still in beta) that allows you to choose your 'channels' of interest first, and then from those channels, headlines from those channels are then presented to you (a la a colourful mobile-like circular hover) for your glance.

Spectra, ©2008, MSNBC

Should you want to just read the headline and not the story that supports it, fine...go on to the next story and your next 'headline' filters on down for viewing. Otherwise you can choose to click on the intriguing headline for a full reading there and then or save it for the News Collector. Should you choose the latter of the News Collector, you'll just get the stories you saved to investigate and read further and/or later as time allows. Business, sports, international, gossip, personal finance, health, etc...a pretty vast area of subject areas are available as channels to choose from. Sweet little gadget to me...then again I also like to visually stimulated a lot, too.

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