New Beta Version 0.9.7

There’s a new version of Newshound that fixes the recent problem where the number of results has diminished considerably.

We have tracked this down to Let’s Encrypt’s Root CA X3 expiration. Sites visited by Newshound having an older Let’s Encrypt certificate were failing with certificate expiration error.

Newshound has been updated to fix this problem and prevent similar certificate-related problems occurring in the future.

Comparison with News Readers

It has been asked how Newshound compares with the likes of Feedly, Feedbin and Innoreader. These sites provide the latest news based on streams of articles for a limited set of web sites. You subscribe to sites specialising in specific topics and these are merged into one news stream. The limitation is that this only includes sites that have RSS or email feeds and only includes sites that another user has added. Instead, Newshound considers the wider Internet.

This means that if, for example, the Minister of Culture for Germany posts something on an obscure culture site about climate change, it’s more likely to get picked up by Newshound but not by a news reader.

Reading the same type or same authored content every day from a limited set of sites can lead to a blinkered and repeating point of view. Newshound helps you find the latest information on topics or names that are outside the normal stream of thinking.

New Beta Version 0.9.6

Beta 0.9.6 provides some features and fixes that have been suggested by beta testers.

  • Improved the initial message how to get started.
  • Prevent multiple instances running at the same time that caused the 2nd to appear with a blank screen.
  • Refresh for one search term at a time rather than all of them at once. The ‘refresh all’ has been kept for people preferring a single click to refresh all the search terms.
  • A new ‘exact match’ setting that is specific to each search term. This is similar to the ‘Strict checking’ in 0.9.4. It is now ‘on’ by default and is only settable for multiple word search terms.
  • New search term specific setting to ignore news having specific word(s) in titles or from specific domain names.
  • A fix for a bug that sometimes caused the refresh to continue forever.

SEO News Powered By Newshound

We have created a new site seo.newshound.news that, while being useful in itself, showcases some of the latest links output from Newshound for the ‘SEO’ search topic.

This example site shows how the output from Newshound can be used to help create content that’s evolving with latest trends.

Imagine a similar site filled with articles relevant to your industry vertical. Mix in some original content, frequently asked questions and service/product announcements and you have something for Google to index, raise your SEO and bring in business.

Comparision with Google

We often get asked ‘What’s the difference to using Google?’ and whether Newshound is just using Google.

Newshound doesn’t use Google at all*. Google finds the best sites for your query, irrespective of when they were published while Newshound only considers new pages for the last week or so and is therefore more about finding the latest trends or talk on a topic or name.

If you want to know about a topic, use Google. If you are already knowledgeable on a topic and need to know the latest then use Newshound.

One of our beta testers described Newshound as ‘Google on Steroids’ as it finds hundreds of the latest articles and validates them to provide the best tens of articles. It’s possible to use Google, sort by date and assess links manually but it would take a very long time and only considers Google’s view of the Internet. If you do the same tomorrow, you will end up having to assess the same web pages again. Newshound automatically ignores articles that have already been considered.

Searching for new articles manually also results in visiting a lot of phishing sites as some new sites are actually compromised WordPress sites that haven’t applied security updates. Hackers bloat them with dummy articles having popular keywords in order to get you to click on and hopefully compromise your laptop, desktop or smartphone.

Google Alerts is closer to what Newshound does but if you have tried it you will know it doesn’t work well. Google News is also similar as it shows the latest news but it is severely limited to popular news sites. Newshound includes the wider Internet including sites such as blogs and company web pages.

*Since writing this we have added an optional feature to have Google contribute links for assessment.

New Beta Version 0.9.4

There’s a new beta version 0.9.4 that now includes a version signed for macOS. This removes the scary installation warning and hoops to jump through to install. It has been notarized by Apple which signifies it comes from us, Krypton Computing Ltd and doesn’t contain malware.

A Windows signed version will follow once we receive our signing certificate from the signing authority.

0.9.4 includes two new experimental features:

  • Use of Google. We have a new FAQ that explains how the default version doesn’t use Google. However, it’s possible to add Google to slightly improve the number of found articles.
  • Stricter article checking. We have been asked if it’s possible to make the article checking stricter to remove the few ‘false positives’. We have added a switch in the settings to enable stricter checking. If you set this to ‘on’ there’s also the possibility that you will get ‘false negatives’ and not get one or two suitable articles listed.

Beginnings

As this is the first post on the Newshound blog, it’s appropriate to explain how Newshound came about. Successful blogging requires a regular stream of things to blog about. After a while, the ideas dry up and it’s necessary to find new, related things to talk about and comment on. Prior to 2012 the place to go for this was Delicious, a shared book mark manager that was great to discover what was new on just about any topic. Delicious was sold and sadly degenerated to the point it wasn’t fit for purpose. It’s at this point, in 2012, that Newshound was born as an Android app.

Newshound on Android circa 2012

The idea was to trawl the Internet looking for links on specific topics, validate and de-duplicate them. The app was briefly made available on the Play Store but, even then, it took marketing to cause an app to become popular. Also, this type of tool wasn’t best suited to mobile. This kind of discovery activity is best done on the desktop or laptop where the results can be used to help inspire onward actions such as creating blog posts, where the multi-processor power is better suited to validating sites in parallel and where the use of data bandwidth is less critical.

The Newshound app was used personally for many years finally being replaced by the use of Nuzzel. The demise of Nuzzel in 2021 prompted the reincarnation of Newshound on the desktop for Windows and macOS. It’s significantly improved over its Android successor with wider Internet reach, deeper site analysis and concurrent processing.