How to create a personal newspaper using Twitter.

Twitter is an amazing service used by millions of people throughout the world. Were you aware that you can use Twitter to create your own personalised newspaper? Here are step by step instructions on how to do this:

1. Login to your Twitter Account or create one if you do not have an account.

2. Follow people whose tweets and links suit your needs. Twitter will also suggested people for you to follow. Just click on the #Discover link (shown below) to get the process underway.

Explore using the #Discover Link in the menu bar
Explore using the #Discover Link in the menu bar

3. If you follow a lot of people then you’ll probably need to access your Twitter feed on a daily basis. The screen shot below shows how the Twitter feed appears on an iPad. You can obtain more information about a tweet by clicking on it to open a larger view. You will notice that the view shown below provides a link to a website. Some links in Twitter show photos. The view below shows a web link and when you click this it opens another screen in which the article will load.

View of expanded tweet with web link
View of expanded tweet with web link

4. You may find it difficult to read the text on the newly opened screen because it may be small in size or surrounded by clutter. One way to get around this problem is to install a tool called Instapaper on your tablet, PC or smartphone. Instapaper strips away all the clutter and gives you several options on text size and pagination. You can send the article to Instapaper by clicking on the “Read Later” option that appears when you click on the Share link on the top right hand of the screen which is shown below:

Click on the Read Later option to send the article to Instapaper
Click on the Read Later option to send the article to Instapaper

5. The screenshot below shows you how the iPad Instapaper app displays the content of the article free of clutter and at an appropriate text size. You can delete or save articles within Instapaper for later reference.

Instapaper makes it easy to read the article without the clutter.
Instapaper makes it easy to read the article without the clutter.

Twitter gives you complete control over the content of your newspaper and is, in my opinion, a much better option than paid newspaper subscriptions.

For another perspective on this topic I encourage you to read Peter Kafka’s excellent blog post “Here’s What a Twitter News Service Might Look Like

WordPress Backup Traps for the Unwary

Every morning, as a ritual, I log into my WordPress diary to make an entry. When I did this today I found that the blog was not there. When I checked I found that there had been a server malfunction and my entire blog was gone. Fortunately I have regularly backed up the blog using the inbuilt backup system within WordPress which sends an e-mail back up to me on a weekly basis. What I didn’t realise was that the backup does not include images which are stored in WP_content section on the server. Although I was able to successfully restore the WordPress database and get back all my previous posts I was not able to get the images that accompany those posts.

The lesson here for everyone who uses their own hosted WordPress is that you need to manually backup the images and not just solely rely on the e-mail backup that happens automatically. I wish in retrospect I have done this. Now I have a blog of over 12,000 posts with a hell of a lot of images missing.

If you love your website or could suffer a nervous condition if it gets hacked or disappears I recommend you read this. I will certainly be using their service.

How to build your own personal newspaper using Twitter.

Sometime ago I subscribed to the iPad digital edition of the Sydney morning Herald. I discovered that I rarely had time to read the entire newspaper and so I cancelled my subscription (why pay $300 a year for unread content). Without the digital subscription there is not a lot to read in the Sydney Morning Herald and neither is there a lot in other dedicated new services. I gave some thought as to where I could get reliable news information and reached the conclusion that Twitter could provide a very useful basis for a personalised newsfeed.

To set up my own “newspaper” I subscribed to a lot of people whose views and knowledge I value and so every morning I read my Twitter feed and that gives me all the information that I require. Twitter assist in the process by suggesting tweeters that you might like to follow.

The latest version of twitter for iPad has a very good way of displaying information and also referring you via links to detailed articles which can then be saved for later reading in applications like Instapaper.

The twitter information is also very much up to date and the news is usually reported instantly so it’s a lot better than waiting for a newspaper to publish. The other benefit of having your news come to you through twitter is that it is, generally speaking, uncensored and there is no editorial interference. What actually happens is that you get the information right from the horses mouth as they say. I commend this to you as a useful way of building your own newspaper and getting all the information you need across all the subjects and topics of interest.

Coping with chronic pain.

I watched a fascinating program on SBS that brought me up to date with developments in the management of pain. There is a lot of work going on in this area which is of interest to many people. I was surprised to discover that one in five people has to deal with pain of various degrees on a regular basis and a large percentage of the population have chronic pain.

The experimental treatment that I found the most interesting in dealing with chronic pain was a new form of motor cortex stimulation. This has very promising prospects for the future and must give heart to a lot of people who experienced chronic pain. I’m very thankful that I’m relatively free of pain most of the time. You can view the programme below:

Consolidation of my office space.

Over the last month or so I’ve been operating my office both upstairs and downstairs in my house with the laptop downstairs. However this was less than satisfactory and so what I did was consolidate everything to my upstairs office. The one thing I needed to do to make this as comfortable as possible was to get a cushion that raises my arms above the laptop which is on my desk. The other keyboard is suitably placed.

One cannot emphasise enough the importance of correct ergonomics when working with a keyboard. If the keyboard is too high you can end up with a lot of shoulder strain and pain at the end of the day.

Friday, 11th October 2013.

How to Reduce Dropouts on Your Android Wi Fi Hotspot

I’ve tried many things but the strategy that gets the best results is to actually place the phone close to the computer, iPad or iPhone where you want good reception.

I frequently access my iPad in another room to the laptop so I invested in a second Samsung power cord and just move the phone from room to room as needed so that it is close to the device.

I still get one or two drops outs but if I wait for a minute it quickly comes back.