Google Blogoscoped

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Find All Files/ Folders Named "X"

You probably know the “Name Last modified Size” addition to a search query (a sort of low-level Google-hacking, but it doesn’t really deserve the name as it only returns what’s openly available). It will find browsable directories on the web. Some of them might even have been forgotten by their webmasters. You never know.

Create Your Automated Google News Blog

A simple idea with interesting result: merge Google News with Blogger blogs.

Here's how it works. Google News sends out news on a given keyword via email when you subscribe to its Google News Alert service. And a Blogger Pro blogs can be configured to be updated via email. (E.g. an email is of the form "" – "fred" being the username, and "secret" the password.)

So all you need to do to merge the two is to subscribe to a Google News Alert using your Blogger-update-email. Validate the account by writing back once, and off you go. You can configure the service to send daily alerts, or to be alerted whenever something new happens.

OK, one more thing to remember actually... Google News Alerts include a little link, which – when clicked – unsubscribes from the service. Take this sample news alert (daily email on keyword "Google"):

This once-a-day News Alert brought to you by Google News (BETA)...

KAZAA used DMCA to threaten Google over copyright infringement - The Inquirer,
... desist notices at the Chilling Effects web site is a letter from Sharman
Networks' lawyers, Stubbs Alterton and Markiles, which says search results
at Google ...

GOOGLE - the only archive we'll ever need? - The Register, UK
... And I'd been invited to talk about Google, or more specifically - as
Google itself isn't really the problem - the effects of Googlephilia.

INTERNET giants battle for online advertising - Sydney Morning Herald, Australia
The little Mountain View, California company called Google soared to fame
after Netizens fell in love with its simple, efficient search engine.

THE tussel for the paid search dollar -, Australia
The little company called Google soared to fame after Netizens fell in
love with its simple, efficient search engine. But that's only half the
story. ...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
Remove this News Alert:[remove id]

Create another News Alert:

Try Google News:

So these last lines need to be hidden. The easiest method would be to create a cover-page in some server-side scripting language, like PHP, which does nothing but read the actual blog "data file" (the blog index, hidden from the end-user), removing the unsubscription line (and possibly creating links out of the raw text, and converting other text-only features into real HTML), and spitting out the result.

A news blog could be configured to run on any kind of keyword, or a combination of many keywords. For example, a Google blog could use the words "Google", "AllTheWeb", "Search Engine", "Online Research", and so on. All those keywords would be send out to the same Blogger-mail address. You would now have your own auto-updated blog on all interesting keywords, creating an overall theme (like online searching). And it would all be legal, as opposed to any script which would just grab Google News results (which is against the Google Inc. TOS).


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