Daily Archives: February 16, 2007

The Times goes RSS

The fact that The Times has revamped its website failed to pass me by. It was mentioned in the paper on Saturday (I buy the dead tree version on a Saturday, it lasts the whole weekend and the TV guide lasts the week), and diamond geezer talked about it on his blog.

Now, when it comes to following events, I’m usually a BBC News kinda guy. I subscribe to several BBC news feeds.

I noticed that the new Times site also has a set of feeds – I’ve no idea whether the old one did, too. Rather unintuitively, they are located in the “Audio/Video” section of the site, despite not actually referring to audio or video stories.

They are RSS feeds rather than Atom, which is sure to disappoint some.

Another trivial annoyance is that the title and description of all of the feeds is “TimesOnline:rss” regardless of category. And the files are presented as XML, which doesn’t validate due to undeclared entities. And the feeds themselves don’t validate either.

So, all in all, good effort, but no cigar.

I’ve emailed them to point out all of these issues. No response so far.

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Starbucks cards, the proof

You may remember the discussion a few months ago about the introduction of Starbucks cards here in the UK. Mark Cathcart was good enough to send me a card from the US, loaded with a small sum in dollars, and I can now declare that the system does work internationally. I used the card to purchase a coffee and a muffin on my way to work in Shepherds Bush. I have no idea how they calculated the exchange rate.

I’m still not likely to use a card much, but I’m considering charging one up and using it when I’m in Las Vegas in April (21st-27th). If I remember from last year, there’s a Starbucks kiosk by the lifts, and another on the way from the reception to the conference suite in the Rio hotel…

So, thanks Mark. That was an interesting little experiment 🙂

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