The robot will remember it for you
May 14, 2009 8:24 AM Subscribe
posted by ardgedee (7 comments total)
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is an automated Twitter feed providing helpful links to news items from the past 14 years that might be relevant to current events. For example, when masses of people started googling medical information
after a news item about 200,000 patients' medical histories being accidentally exposed, NPRbackstory linked to an April 2008 analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of storing patient records online.
" The results, Keith will be the first to tell you, aren’t perfect. He estimated... that about 50 percent of the links aren’t really to archival stories.... Another 15 percent of the results are complete misses. Those are usually caused by search terms that have multiple meanings. And once in a while there’s something way out of left field, like this attempt to tie "plankton" to a memoir by the advice columnist Ask Amy. But the rest of the time, it works really well — plucking a gem from the NPR archives that adds context and depth to some subject in the news. Keith compared it to the way that Fresh Air’s three-decade archive allows it to air something old but newly timely whenever a past interview subject is in the news again.
It's a personal project of Keith Hopper
, using NPR's news API, Google's Hot Trends
list of currently-popular search terms, and a variety of other tools; Hopper's page provides more technical info. [via