Tag: technology/Archives

NPR API How-to

There were some requests on the AIR Daily maillist for a quick&dirty how-to on using NPR’s new API. Your most common use will probably be embedding a single story into your web page or blog post.

Find the story at NPR.org, then grab the url, e.g. this recent HV piece:

Copy the above storyID at the end of the url, and paste it into the JavaScript code below where it sez “PasteStoryIDHere”; also paste in your NPR API Key at “PasteYourAPIKeyHere” (instructions below on how to get one):

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://api.npr.org/query?id=PasteStoryIDHere,&fields=title,teaser,storyDate,show,audio&output=JS&apiKey=PasteYourAPIKeyHere"></script>

Now paste all the above into your page/post, and it’ll display like this:

To display more than one story, list each ID, separated by a comma; e.g., the ID’s of these recent Jack Chance encounters: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89723386 http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88961745 used in this code: <script type="text/javascript" src="http://api.npr.org/query?id=89723386,88961745&fields=title,teaser,storyDate,show,audio&output=JS&apiKey=PasteYourAPIKeyHere"></script> look like this:


Notice I’ve specified the fields=title,teaser,storyDate,show,audio. Those fields determine what’ll show on the page: you can remove some, or add others. The list of what’s possible is under the FIELDS tab of NPR’s Query Generator.

While there, check out the many other possibilities for interacting with NPR database of stories, audio, text, and photos. You can specify search terms, NPR shows, topics, and a host of other criteria for creating custom lists. And you can see how the lists will display. If there’s demand I’ll add another how-to sometime on using the Query Generator. (UPDATE: QG how-to added.)

To get an NPR API Key, start here: http://www.npr.org/api/index

Click the upper-left Register link to start your account. Or, if you subscribe to an NPR newsletter, you already have an account: click instead the upper-left Login link and enter your NPR subscription email and password.

Once in, click the Manage link in the upper-left. Copy it. (You can get it again anytime by returning to your account settings, and using the Open API top tab.)

Update: also see post for NPR API Query Generator.

NPR.org Widgets

NPR is already offering a collection of widgets made by themselves and others (using their new API), including this flash-y Reverbiage spinning-globe story-list:


NPR.org has released their API (application programming interface) allowing access to NPR’s huge stockpiles of stories and sounds from 1995 till now. Anyone can embed NPR story-lists on their own web-pages and blogs, along w/ all NPR’s audio player possibilities: Real, Windows Media, or NPR’s own pop-up player right from your own page — you can “Play Now” a single story or build a playlist. Try it, here’s a recent HV NPR story:

June 27, 2008 | NPR· Amy Jo is a single mother of two toddlers. Each day is a struggle to provide the life she promised her daughter two years ago, but she’s glad their father is out of the picture.

Notice you also get streaming mp3s (.m3u), something not yet even on NPR’s own story pages. And who knows what widget-ry bit-twisters might craft from NPR’s new embrace of open-source-ness (see next post).

Techies: the API outputs as either an HTML or JavaScript widget, or in several XML formats, including RSS, ATOM, and NPR’s own custom NPRML. For details on constructing API calls and getting an API key, start at the Inside NPR.org blog. And you’re gonna love their Query Generator.

Preventive Maintenance Monthly

Magazine cover with woman asking: Done Any LatelyPreventive Maintenance Monthly (now digitized at VCU libraries) was an Army pub started in 1951 and drawn by comic artist Will Eisner, with comically beautiful service babes asking accusing questions like “Who didn’t check out these parts before taking them off the equipment?” And offering vital SOPs like:

Magazine drawing on cleaning battery terminals

Make Music with Your Mind

Man wearing EEG capBBC Report: “Thinking up beautiful music.”

Musicians may soon be able to play instruments using just the power of the mind. Researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London have developed technology to translate thoughts into musical notes.

Aptera 300mpg

Nuthin’ like a good gas crisis to spurn some excitement for energy conservation— the Aptera electric and hybrid vehicle, 300 miles-per-gallon, extended range models, “composite safety cage similar to Formula-1 cars,” exceeds 85 mph, 0-60 mph in under 10 seconds, “designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle;” that’s just some of its innovations.

Aptera vehicle

The car had a cameo in this Touchstone Energy ad:

HV Stations Quikmap

quikmaps.com is an easy to use & config Google-map making tool. Here’s a quickmap of all the HV stations carrying the HV weekly hour series:


Summize Conversational Search’s “mission is to discover the topics and attitudes expressed within online conversations. Our home page currently features realtime conversations on Twitter.”

For instance here’s “hearing voices” summized:

Summize sez they’ll soon add blogs, reviews, and other online chatter. Some particularly entrancing summizing is hapnin’ with the “love hate think believe feel wish” of twistori.

as often happens, via Puddles of Thought.

Big Dog Robot

This video shows a “pack animal” robot designed to crawl up mountains, on ice, through snow, carrying 340 lbs. The way this “animal” adapts to terrain is unbelievable. Created ( by Boston Dynamics, an engineering company “Dedicated to the Science and Art of How Things Move.” If you have no interest in futuristic army technology or the replacement for Sherpas, then have a nice day; otherwise, brought to by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, here’s The Most Advanced Quadruped Robot on Earth, “Boston Dynamics Big Dog:”

Google Charts

To demonstrate our WY-centric station carriage, mentioned in post prev, our graphics team has prepared this map:
Hearing Voices station carriage chart

That’s right, there’s a new toy in town, Google Charts: online generation of graphs, charts, and data-driven maps. Thanks, Jon, for telling me about it and making me waste my morn — you know I can’t resist to trying new tech. Or as Jon graphically points out:
Barrett's Day chart

WY Winter Radio Repair

The Thermopolis transmitter of Wyoming Public Radio was off-air. To fix it they needed to get up past three feet of snowdrifts, over three inches of ice, and into 40-mph winds blowing snow sideways across a cloud-covered hilltop. A four-wheel drive wouldn’t make it; a rental Sno-Cat would have taken days to find; and snowmobile travel would have been dangerous with the weight and bulk of the gear and parts needing transport. So how did Chief Engineer Reid Fletcher and Program Director Roger Adams make their mid-winter ascent? Hint: “Giddyup.”
Horses at transmitter site

Becoming a Trombone

A trombone takes fire, ice, wood, and greased steel balls to become a musical instrument. Filmed at the S.E. Shires company, from Discovery’s Science Channel series, “How It’s Made – Trombones:”

Hi-Fi Dies

Compressed soundwaveThe people who master music CDs have gone compression crazy, sez this Rolling Stone article “The Death of High Fidelity.” In this “loudness war,” fought for the ears of radio listeners, their sonic weapons maximize a constant volume by boosting the softer sections, clipping the peaks, and squishing the dynamics,. What’s left is a flatline of loud, like the soundwave to the right (of an Arctic Monkeys song).

via SALT-y Rob.

Iran/USA malware spam

Is everyone else waking up to spams titled “USA Missle Strike: Iran War just have started” (sic) and such? The eems have malware attached, like “News.exe” and “Movie.exe.” Haven’t a clue what it does (on a Mac, doncha know), but ya gotta admit its email subject is a clever bit of social-engineering to get you to click. Though, even after all these years, “Nude Anna Kournikova pics” still works around here.

BTW, while I’m being divergent, have you heard a Texas Hold ‘Em hand: Ace-King (AK), aka, Big Slick, is now also aka, Anna Kournikova, for its initials but mainly cuz “it looks good, but hardly ever wins.”

This Iran/Missile/War/USA malware spam must be new. Not even on Snopes yet.