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News Spotter : News Spotter is a desktop utility which fosters an addiction to current events. Its an RSS news reader.

It monitors a list of news feeds and displays a visual alert when a new headline is downloaded. Most of the time, News Spotter sits quietly on the left or right side of your screen. But when a new headline is identified from one of its monitored web sites, News Spotter graphically displays the headline as a hyperlink. When you click on the headline, News Spotter opens the corresponding URL in your default browser.

Simple. News Spotter is basically a pet Java project I've been working on over the last several months. Since I couldn't think of anything better to do with it, I've put it online under a Free ( as in speech ) software license.

For the brave, I've put the source code online. There's precious little documentation on this at the moment. If you just want to run News Spotter, download the binary installer.

Requirements : News Spotter is written in pure Java and, theoretically, runs on any platform which supports the Java JRE 1.3.1 or greater.

Yeah, right.

In reality, here's what I've been able to run it on:

Windows NT: JRE 1.3.1 and JRE 1.4.2 Beta
Red Hat Linux 7: JRE 1.4.1
MacOS 10.2 JRE 1.3.1 and JRE 1.4.1

Installation : MacOS X can simply download the disk image, and drag the News Spotter icon to your applications folder. For all other platforms:

  1. Simply unzip the archive into a directory.
  2. Open the newsspotter sub-directory and double-click the RunMe.jar file.
  3. Create a shortcut from the RunMe.jar file to your desktop.

Geeks who prefer launching apps from a shell can cd to the newsspotter directory and type: java -jar RunMe.jar

Copyright © 2008 by Sean Gallagher

News Spotter v0.8 Beta:


MacOSX Disk Image:


News Spotter on Linux:

Again on Linux: