Saturday, 21 July 2007

BBC news keyword installation in the Avon Gallery

This has been around for a while but I haven't got round to mentioning it...

I put together a little SLashup exhibit in the Avon Gallery on Eduserv Island a while back. The piece consists of about 100 random colored balls, each of which carries a word taken from the BBC 'world news' RSS feed.

Each ball updates itself after a short random period, changing both color and word.

The words are selected via a server-side Perl script that grabs the BBC news feed, parses it into individual words, removes stop-words, then chooses a word at random. The feed is cached to reduce load on the BBC site - without this the script is quickly treated as a misbehaving robot and blocked by the BBC Web site.

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