Nozzl Real-Time Local News

Nozzl Media is offering a new version of highly localized news for websites. It pulls information from Twitter messages, blog posts and even auto-extracted public records.

Nozzl was founded by a team of ex-newspaper reporters and engineers. They got out when it was clear the newspaper industry was in trouble, but now they aim to give something back by bringing together the real-time, programmatic possibilities of the web with the reporting of the newspapers. Reporters have for decades written programming scripts that repeat database queries over and over again to extract public data for bulk analysis. The Nozzl team has taken that to the next level and combined it with new social media.

I don't think that this qualifies as a robot reporter like Philip K. Dick's autonomic interviewer, or as a full-blown homeostatic newspaper. It looks to me like a short text version of Heinlein's Newsbox (or News-Receptor from his 1941 novel Methuselah's Children.

"I wanted to see," said Lazarus, "if there was any news about us-the Families."

"I've been watching for that myself. Perhaps we had better use the soundtrack and let it hunt."

"O.K.," agreed Lazarus, stepping up to the receptor and changing the selector to audio. "What's the code word?'

"'Methuselah.'"

Lazarus punched the keys. The machine chattered and whined as it scanned and rejected track sped through it, then the film slowed with a triumphant click. "The DAILY DATA," it announced. "The only midwest news service subscribing to every major grid and private photophone to Luna City...

Note that Heinlein lists as potential sources "every ... private photophone...".

From Nozzl via ReadWrite Web.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/7/2010)

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