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What are web feeds?

Web feeds, also called RSS feeds or Atom feeds depending on the underlying technology used, are created in a language called XML that enables users to receive news on their desktops, web browsers or feed readers.

There are different ways to receive a feed. If you have a browser capable of reading feeds directly such as Firefox or Safari, simply click on a feed icon or link. Firefox also supports feed reader extensions such as Sage, in which case users may drag a feed link into the Sage panel to make that feed available.

See the Lab's Wiki for a web feed overview.

You may also use a stand-alone feed reader; here is a list of some popular programs:

  • Amphetadesk — Windows, Mac, Linux (open source); freeware
  • Bloglines — Web-based news aggregator; free
  • FeedDemon — Windows; commercial software, trial available
  • Feedreader — Windows (open source); freeware
  • Google Reader — Web-based news aggregator; free
  • My Yahoo! — Web-based news aggregator; free
  • NetNewsWire — Mac OS X; commercial software, free lite version and trial available
  • NewsFire — Mac OS X; commercial software, trial available
  • Rocket RSS Reader — Web-based RSS reader; free
  • RSS Reader — Windows; freeware
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Images / Video/ Audio
Multicore: Fallout From a Computing Evolution
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Audio file: The Future of the Earth’s Climate: Frontiers in Forecasting
Leading climate modeler Bill Collins discusses how improvements in climate forecasts will require better observations and understanding of the carbon and hydrological cycles.
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