RSS-powered desktop solutions

RSS-powered Windows 7 desktop slideshows

Part of the new theme file specifications in Windows 7 is the ability to specify a RSS feed as the source of slideshow images. To put this to the test, I created three themes that source images from the RSS feeds of various Flickr users’ who make available the original high-resolution photos to the public. If you have a copy of Windows 7 handy, feel free to download these and play along.

I've been informed this isn't unique to Windows 7 but I got to say its pretty cool. I'd like to see a lot more RSS powered things on the desktop. For example I still don't understand why there's very few RSS screensavers specially on Linux. Long Zheng does mention this but quotes a quite boring example of the background changing depending on the weather outside. I'd like to more of the social networking rss/attention pushed into the desktop. On Linux when the screen is locked, people can leave a message but imagine being able to leave a message for those around your computer using your own lifestream feed. Tie it your Brightkite or Fire eagle and you could give a estimate of how long your'll be till your back. Combining your personal informatics (credit to Tom Coates and Matt Jones, but I still don't like the phrase much) and maybe your computer could suggest which project you should work on based on how much work you've done previously from a data sensor service like Rescuetime. It could even suggest you take a break.

Although OSX and Windows seem to have gotten a head on this march so far, I expect the FOSS operating systems to really steal the day because of the diversity of developers and different versions.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and